Using High-Resolution, Multi-sensor Data to Characterize Puerto Rican Forests
After hurricane deforestation in Puerto Rico, NASA scientists study forest regrowth using high-resolution, multi-sensor data.As a key component of NASA’s G-LiHT system, a 100 megapixel Phase One Industrial camera was used to produce RGB photographs for identification of fine-scale canopy features.
Using High-resolution RGB Cameras to Create High-definition 3D Thermal Models
Airbus Defence and Space acquired Phase One Industrial iXM-100 cameras to be integrated as a payload in the ALTAIR airship.
The airship’s large payload capacity allows for more than one sensor system for 3D mapping and was used recently for a pilot project between Airbus, vaireco and MVV Energie AG to generate high-definition thermal 3D models using a combination of infrared (IR) and RGB data captured simultaneously.
Airbus ALTAIR – A First for Large Scale High Definition 3D Mapping
Airbus Defense and Space acquired Phase One Industrial iXM-100 cameras with 35mm lenses to be integrated as a payload in the ALTAIR airship.
ALTAIR offers the first autonomous unmanned airship (Zeppelin), which is allowed to fly in cities and over crowds. Thus it enables the collection of high-resolution and ultra precise optical data, which are processed into 3D city models of unmatched quality. The digital products of ALTAIR are the foundation to assist in smart decision making and realistic simulations to pave the way for the future cities.
ALTAIR offers a unique combination of large area coverage, high resolution, long endurance and unbeatable payload capacity. This allows to carry more than one sensor system for 3D Mapping.
Capture an Entire City in One Flight
Altair combines robust and proven airship platforms with latest technology to enable UAV remote sensing over cities, crowds, and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) missions for the first time.
The ALTAIR has a flight endurance of 3 to 8 hours, maximum payload of 10kg, flies at 60km/h, and reach a maximum height of 1800m. The airship is therefore ideal for 3D Mapping on a city scale at low altitudes for data acquisition at a high GSD.
Airbus, vaireco (a 3D inspection technology startup) and MVV Energie AG (one of Germany’s leading energy companies) embarked on a project to acquire high-definition 3D IR data on a city scale using thermal sensors and Phase One Industrial 100MP RGB cameras.
- The benefits of the airship are:
- 10 times longer flight time compared to multicopters.
- Low noise and high public acceptance allow for special missions even at night
- Designed for safety, ALTAIR can fly where other aircraft and UAVs cannot
- Real-time and high-quality data service available remotely wherever you are
"Phase One 100MP cameras are an integral part of our IR 3D mapping solution as they provide us the baseline for a high definition 3D meshed model to be fused with IR data captured in one flight"
Dr.-Ing. Klaus KittmannChief Engineer X-Works - Airbus Defence and Space
Energy Saving through Large Area Thermographic Data
Clemens Peters – consultant at MVV Energie AG – explains: “Large area thermographic data acquisition of complete city infrastructures allows municipalities to support citizens to achieve energy saving targets, e.g. via our new platform CLIMAP. The data provides a decision baseline for renovation activities as well as support and allow prognoses on cost saving effects.“
Creating a Future Industry with Thermal Sensors and High-resolution RGB cameras
“Currently aerial thermal imagery is used by ‘energy optimizers’ to detect sources of heat loss in building and homes. Our new high-definition imagery opens up new uses and opportunities for people to implement this technology in such as: Fire fighters; Police; Administrations for monitoring; Architects; Maintenance crews; Safety bodies; and Environmentalists. We are only in the middle of exploiting all the new use cases with domain partners,”
– Robert Holder – Innovation Manager, Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defense and Space GmbH. - ALTAIR
- The system includes:
- Two Phase One iXM 100 MP Cameras
Mounted diagonal (left-front – right-back)
– Enlarged in the image above
- Three FLIR TAU 2 thermal sensors
Mounted Nadir, Diagonal (right-front – left-back)
Redefining Thermal Imaging
The challenge was to develop a system for large scale scanning, improving the infrared data quality, and to process the data into 3D infrared (IR) models. The result has an extraordinary analytical potential.
Wolfgang Herbst, business developer at vaireco and IR specialist says: “The combination of both Electro-Optical (EO) and IR 3D Models allow a completely new field of applications for infrared data. At the same time, accuracy and aerial performance is pushed into a new dimension. Thus, a number of new use cases has opened up. E.g. inspection flights of large scale solar plants. (defect cells in solar arrays usually become hotter than normal).”
The fusion of high-resolution EO data with the low altitude IR data enables the detection of much smaller anomalies over a large scale while providing a direct cross-check with the optical data. This, in turn, leads to faster analysis.. Since IR and EO data is captured simultaneously and the optical 3D mesh is used as reference for IR, both models match naturally. Uses for IR data is increased as it is now represented at the correct geolocation.