Air Photographics Goes Digital with Purchase of Z/I DMC II 230 Aerial Camera

Dec. 20, 2014

NORCROSS, GA, DEC. 18, 2014 ““ Leica Geosystems Inc. today announced that West Virginia-based Air Photographics has purchased its first digital aerial camera, a Z/I DMC II 230. The complete sensor solution includes Leica MissionPro mission planning software, Z/I Inflight flight guidance and sensor management, a Z/I Mount stabilized mount and a Leica GNSS/IMU system.

Air Photographics has adapted to technology trends throughout its long history in the aerial data acquisition business. “We have always been a Leica shop, including film cameras, film scanners, flight planning software, and now our first digital aerial camera,” said Don Siler, vice president of operations at Air Photographics. “We will continue to operate our Leica RC30 cameras for film clients, but the demand we are seeing is almost exclusively for digital.”

“Digital capture is particularly suitable for our time sensitive projects, allowing image delivery within 24 hours of the flight,” he continued. “Owning a digital sensor will also allow us to participate on large-area state and county projects that require digital capture. By working in the Carolinas in January and February we can fill our winter pipeline, which is typically a slow time for us. We also expect to expand into new markets of digital image acquisition.”

The DMC II 230 is a lightweight and compact camera system which increases reliability by reducing external components. The digital mapping camera consists of a 230-megapixel black-and-white sensor and 42-megapixel red, green, blue and near-infrared arrays that simultaneously acquire all color bands, resulting in perfectly co-registered data sets. While Air Photographics evaluated several large format aerial cameras, they were most impressed with the ease of installation and straightforward flight planning and operation of the DMC II 230.

In April 2014, Air Photographics successfully collected a three-county region in just four days with the DMC II 230. “We made up our minds that this was the camera we wanted,” said Siler. “We had clients promising us jobs before the sale was even final, so we knew it was the right decision.”

“Our existing clients are excited about the advantages of acquiring imagery with the DMC II 230,” he said. “We have been flying the Chesapeake Bay for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science every summer for the past 19 years. Traditionally we’ve used black and white film to get better water penetration in the coastal areas at low tide, but we tested color digital and the results were fantastic. Penetration was approximately a meter which enhances their ability to determine the health of the submerged aquatic vegetation. We expect our summer 2015 acquisition for them to be 100% digital.”

“Air Photographics is a long-time Leica customer,” said Jean Gardiner, General Manager of Leica Geospatial Solutions. “We are happy to continue working with them through the transition to digital imaging to support their future business expansion.”

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