Lead Air Inc., the manufacturer of Track’Air aerial survey products, is unveiling a new nine-camera MIDAS system with one vertical camera and eight oblique cameras, covering a true 360 degrees. Instead of the classic four-oblique -camera arrangement, facing forward, backward, left and right, the new Octoblique MIDAS adds four additional oblique cameras, doubling the amount of oblique photos collected without an increase in flying time.
The Octoblique’s four additional cameras deliver full coverage into the four corners, which are not seen by customary four-camera configurations. With eight cameras spaced at 45 degrees from each other instead of four cameras spaced at 90 degrees, the Octoblique looks in all directions around the airplane and leaves fewer angular blind spots uncovered.
The addition of four cameras was made possible by a new, patented, fully-stabilized camera suspension system. The system allows the eight cameras to move freely, soaring at a very short distance above the aircraft camera port. This takes away the need for a bulky circular mount. Lead'Air uses economical off-the-shelf, full frame, top-of-the-line SLR bodies from Nikon and Canon. The cameras are entirely reengineered and rebuilt at the Lead’Air facility. They are reassembled using the best available lenses into true metric mapping cameras, which are each delivered with an official calibration certificate.
JP Barriere, the president of Lead’Air, describes the new Octoblique system as a disruptive technical advancement which will rapidly set new standards in the oblique aerial photo business. “Instead of increasing, at high cost, the sensor size of the four oblique cameras, we have increased the overall capture extents of the entire system. This allows the Octoblique system to be flown with less lateral overlap, therefore less photo lines and less operational costs,” Barriere says.
About Lead'Air Inc.
Lead'Air Inc. was founded in 2001 in Kissimmee, Fla. In 2010, Lead'Air had completely taken over the design and manufacturing of the Track'Air systems, which were originally produced in the Netherlands for 20 years. Employing 40 experienced engineers and technicians, Lead'Air specializes in customized aerial survey systems for helicopters and airplanes. More than 50 percent of Lead'Air designs and products are custom-made for special survey applications. The rest of Lead'Air’s production includes the Track'Air line of flight management systems, which has been used worldwide by hundreds of survey organizations since 1994.