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  The American Surveyor     

Microsoft Announces Next Generation UltraCam: UltraCam Eagle Print E-mail
Written by Microsoft’s Photogrammetry Division   
Monday, 02 May 2011

Milwaukee, WI — May 2, 2011 – From its User Group meeting at the ASPRS 2011 conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Microsoft’s Photogrammetry division today announced the UltraCam Eagle, a new generation of its award-winning UltraCam digital photogrammetric aerial camera systems.

This latest model in the widely adopted line of UltraCam digital aerial sensors builds on the UltraCam legacy of reliable and economical solutions for producing image data of exceptional quality, but bests traditional “large-format” cameras to set a new “ultra-large” industry standard for across-track image footprint capacity. The UltraCam Eagle features a PAN image footprint of more than 20,000 pixels across the flight strip.

In addition to the ultra-large image footprint, the UltraCam Eagle includes enhanced electronics for improved frame rate and less noise (72 dB signal-to-noise ratio for high image dynamic) when compared to previous UltraCam systems, and completely new high-resolution, high-performance lenses and state-of-the art CCD technology (@ 5.2 µm pixel size) for sharp images with a high image dynamic range. The UltraCam Eagle is the first multi-cone photogrammetric camera to offer exchangeable lens system with 80mm (standard) and 210mm (tele for high altitude flights) and includes new filters with curved characteristics to flatten out vignetting, enabling the lens system to operate at its best Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) performance for maximum image sharpness and contrast.

This newest generation of UltraCam boasts a new housing concept with everything integrated into a modular sensor head, including the new UltraNav embedded flight management and direct georeferencing system from Applanix, and in-flight exchangeable, solid state storage for high reliability and minimal ground time. Compared to previous UltraCam systems, the smaller physical footprint of the UltraCam system makes it quicker and easier to install, require less aircraft space, and weigh less for more efficient aircraft fuel consumption.

“Microsoft’s Photogrammetry team is extremely excited over this new generation of UltraCam aerial sensors,” said Alexander Wiechert, Microsoft Business Director. “We have improved on every major component of the UtraCam and in essence, the UltraCam Eagle is a completely new camera that pushes the technology envelope for digital aerial acquisition, allowing mapping organizations to take their projects to new heights. It is the new flagship product for the Microsoft’s Photogrammetry division.”

In keeping with the UltraCam upgrade path, Microsoft emphasized in it announcement that existing UltraCam customers with previous generation UltraCam systems can receive trade-in credit for those models when upgrading to the UltraCam Eagle and announced that its Photogrammetry subsidiary, Vexcel Imaging, has already contracted with Weser Airborne Sensing, GmbH (Germany), GEOCART Herten (Germany), and Keystone Aerial Surveys (USA) for UltraCam Eagle systems. Separate announcements on those sales can be found on the UltraCam web site at www.iFlyUltraCam.com.

About Microsoft’s Photogrammetry Division
With its operations based in Graz, Austria, and sales and support teams in North America, Microsoft’s Photogrammetry division brings more than two decades of photogrammetry expertise to Microsoft’s Bing Maps business unit. The division is responsible for the highly successful line of UltraCam digital aerial mapping systems that include the UltraCamLp, UltraCamXp, UltraCamXp Wide Angle and UltraCam Eagle digital photogrammetric sensors. Rounding out the UltraCam mapping systems offering is the UltraMap workflow software system that provides an automated project-based color balancing module and additional quality control tools. Additional information can be found at www.iFlyUltraCam.com.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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