We recently purchased a Cessna 206 turbo survey plane.  The aircraft is ideal for aerial photography in BC as it is a fast single-engine airplane, with a high service ceiling, and long-range tanks. Other important features of the Terrasaurus aircraft:

  • Commercially registered and commercially insured aircraft
  • Service ceiling 23,000’ (realistic max height is 18,000′)
  • Enlarged 20″ camera port
  • Factory Cessna exhaust deflector
  • Long range gas tanks with tip tanks ~ 7 hours duration!
  • O2 on-board for flights above 12,000’
  • Vortex generators for slow & low flights
  • Dual frequency GPS antenna installed
  • Garmin 530 and autopilot

Vertical Camera Systems

1. Alpa Metric camera with a 60 megapixel digital back:

  • Phase One IQ160 digital back
  • 100mm Rodenstock HR digital lens
  • Lens permanently fixed on infinity
  • Electronic shutter controlled by flight management system
  • CNC machined to “Swiss” high tolerances
  • Rigidly mounted lens and back
  • Fully calibrated for Aerial Photography

2. Stepping-frame camera mount for greater ground coverage:

  • Camera captures a series of photos across-track (typically 3 or 4 per sweep)
  • Phase One IQ160 digital back (60 megapixel) with 150mm lens digital lens
  • Rigidly mounted lens and back (lens fixed on infinity)
  • Precision stepper motors control exact positioning during photo acquisition
  • Gyro stabilized (IMU) to maintain perfect nadir.
  • Calibrated camera and GPS/IMU

3. UAV camera:

  • Sony Nex7 camera
  • Photos are “self calibrated” by software.
  • Consumer cameras (like the small UAV cameras) are not metrically stable, therefore need recalibrating each project.
  • Small footprint, best suited to smaller projects.

Calibration files:  click to download

Camera resolution comparison chart: click to view

Oblique Camera System

We have developed our own oblique aerial camera system to capture oblique aerial photos.  We have been capturing oblique aerial photos for more than a decade and have conducted considerable research into furthering the development of oblique aerial imaging.

In 2001, we presented a paper to the ASPRS regarding the use of oblique air photos for detecting bark beetle damage, specially noting that due to the oblique angle of the photos, the shapes of tree crowns were more easily distinguishable. Since then, we have been involved in several projects using oblique air photos for urban and forestry projects.

Key features of our oblique aerial camera system are:

  • Captures all four oblique angle photos during a single flightline.
  • Rigidly mounted.
  • Simultaneously triggered by flight management system.
  • Crab and tilt corrected mount.
  • Nikon D810 cameras.