Monitoring Dead Trees and Preserving the Green in Yosemite Park

Using High Resolution 4-Band Aerial Imagery as a Tool for an Accurate Identification of Dead Trees.

The number of dead trees in California is rising dramatically and present an unparalleled ecological challenge that increases the potential of massive wildfires and damaging erosion. The project of monitoring these dead trees and preserving the green in Yosemite Park is of national importance.

Weather Implications on Tree Health

The lack of rain and the higher temperatures has put California’s trees under considerable stress, making them vulnerable to wildfire threat and organisms damage that can kill them. An accurate identification of dead trees for efficient treatment and effective removal process that poses safety, logistical and financial risks, becomes essential to the different authorities.

Data Collection for Assessment and Planning

SkyIMD, one of Phase One’s top integrators, was asked to provide an Aerial imagery solution for California Transportation department, Fire department, the department of Water Resources, and several local municipal utility districts, including Yosemite National Park.

Located in California, SkyIMD designs and develops multipurpose and highly extensible aerial imaging solutions. A while ago, the company introduced a uniquely designed aerodynamic camera platform (“pod”) that is capable of housing a single or two Phase One aerial cameras and was approved for commercial aviation by the FAA and 55 other countries with over 23 popular aircrafts. The SkyIMD system utilizes Phase One’s cost effective 4-Band Solution, providing exceptional imaging capability, and fits perfectly onto the SkyiMD system’s pod.

“We can fly faster, cover a greater area, and ultimately deliver data to our clients faster. We acquire more data during ideal lighting conditions and save the costs of fuel and time for everyone involved.”

Michael Estigoy


Quick Facts

4-Band Imagery

Two Phase One 100MP cameras coupled to capture RGB and NIR imagery

GSD of 3cm

Flight Altitude was around 2,000 feet

5 hours
Total Flight Time

20 sq miles - Forward overlap of 80% and side overlap of 60%, Ground Speed of the plane of ~100 knot

Coverage & Consistency

Michael Estigoy, SkyIMD COO said “Using a Phase One 100MP camera has enabled us to reduce the number of flight lines needed to cover an area by 40% and still maintain the desired overlap and GSD. For most of our projects, the Phase One is a must use. Having a metric and calibrated lens removes many of the questions we face when bidding on projects that require a high degree of accuracy and precision. Some of the most popular mapping applications, such as Pix4D, will optimize their results using this information. We’ve been involved in aerial image mapping since 2010 using a variety of camera and sensor configurations. The Phase One camera delivers results that are sharp, precise and properly exposed. We have been able to compare several different camera and lens combinations against each other and Phase One images are consistently better”.

Recommended Phase One Solution

Phase One iXU-RS 1000 Camera*
- 100 MP Aerial Photographs
- 11,608 pixels cross-track coverage
- High noise resistance (effective at low light)
*iXU-RS 1000 is no longer available.


90mm RS Lens for RGB and NIR

- 90mm
- f/5.6
- 1/2500sec
- Rodenstock lens

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