Aerial Survey Acquisition

One of Surdex's Cessna441s in the hangerSurdex owns and operates a fleet of nine aircraft configured to acquire film, digital imagery, and LiDAR sensors at varying resolutions and airspeeds. Each aircraft/camera platform is equipped with survey grade ABGPS/IMU instrumentation to support the highest product accuracy.

The cornerstone of our acquisition is the combination of our four Leica ADS100 Aerial Digital Sensors in combination with our four Cessna 441 (Conquest) twin-engine turboprop aircraft.

The ADS100 is a premiere imaging system that provides numerous advantages over other cameras/sensors:

  • Reduced acquisition time: it has the widest swath of any digital sensor available today, requiring fewer flight lines. Reduced acquisition time, consequently, improves our ability to acquire imagery during the brief acquisition windows.
  • Reduced processing and QA/QC time. The ADS100 is a pushbroom sensor, acquiring imagery in continuous strips with the maximum amount of near-nadir views of ground features. The reduced significant number of seamlines translates to streamlined production and reduced inspection time.
  • Exceptional image quality: the ADS100’s imagery is exceptionally crisp with vivid color derived from full red, green, blue, near infrared linear arrays at the nadir, forward, and back positions. Pan-sharpening is not required, avoiding the blooming and blur of colors on ground features and objects.

Similarly, the Conquest is an exceptional aircraft, ideally suited for high-altitude, high-speed acquisition. Its high airspeeds (up to 300 knots) and high endurance (time aloft) enable longer and more efficient missions than piston aircraft. It can be safely ferried during evening hours, moving from one project to another across the entire country.

Digital Image Sensors

Surdex has always invested in top of the line imaging equipment because imaging is at the heart of a mapping project. Our sensors provide excellent image resolution and color quality.

 Leica ADS 100 Aerial Digital Sensor Four Leica ADS 100 Aerial Digital Sensors: these are “pushbroom” systems that are arguably some of the most sophisticated systems on the market today. The sensor acquires imagery in a continuous strip with each flightline. They have the widest swatch of any sensor on the market, thereby offering reduced acquisition time, and have excellent image quality.
Z/I DMC-I sensor Three Z/I DMC-I sensors: this system is a frame system that includes four divergent panchromatic cameras and four multispectral cameras (red, green, blue and near infra-red) for pan-sharpened imagery at any resolution.
Microsoft UltraCam Xp Wide Angle sensor One Microsoft UltraCam Xp Wide Angle sensor: this large format digital aerial sensor features a new proprietary, digital, high-performance, high-resolution lens system.
Leica RCD30 Oblique Camera System Leica RCD30 Oblique Camera System: this system is specifically designed for high accuracy 3D urban mapping and 3D corridor mapping applications. It can be used in two configurations (1) five sensors: nadir, forward, backward, left, and right imaging directed at city applications; and (2) three sensors: nadir, forward, and backward imaging suitable for corridor applications. It can be co-mounted with our Leica ALS 70 HP LiDAR sensor LINK for simultaneous LiDAR/image capture.

All sensors are equipped with ABGPS, IMU and the latest forward motion compensation technology and provide high quality, accurate stereo imagery to meet the needs of our customers.

Acquisition Aircraft

Surdex currently owns and operates our aerial photography aircraft out of our Chesterfield, Missouri flight center at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. We employ full-time A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) personnel to perform FAA-certified inspection, maintenance, and repair – avoiding costly and time-consuming reliance on third-parties.

Cessna 441 Conquest II Four (4) Cessna 441 Conquest II-10 with RVSM
Flight Range: 2,193 nm
Altitude: 1,200 –34,000 AGL
Certified Altitude: 35,000 MSL
Approximate Cruise Speed: 310 knots
Cessna 414A Chancellor III Cessna 414A Chancellor III
Flight Range: 900 nm
Altitude: 1,200 –25,000 AGL
Certified Altitude: 30,200 MSL
Approximate Cruise Speed: 235knots
Cessna 335 II Cessna 335 II
Flight Range: 928 nm
Altitude: 1,200 –18,000 AGL
Certified Altitude: 26,800 MSL
Approximate Cruise Speed: 215 knots
Cessna TU-206F Turbo Stationair Four (4) Cessna TU-206F Turbo Stationair
Flight Range: 720 nm
Altitude: 1,000-10,000 AGL
Certified Altitude: 26,300 MSL
Approximate Cruise Speed: 148 knots