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Leica ContentMapper airborne imaging sensor

Hexagon’s Geosystems division, Heerbrugg, Switzerland, has introduced the Leica ContentMapper, an airborne imaging sensor for large-scale geospatial mapping projects.

With a 40,000-pixel swath width, this latest generation camera provides high performance for content programs, capturing high-resolution imagery at high rates.

The airborne sensor was commissioned by the HxGN Content Program, the largest library of aerial imagery and elevation models, to enable the highest aerial data capture efficiency. The new camera provides double the resolution at the same flying parameters compared to previous systems and keeps up with the fastest flying speeds while creating highly accurate and detailed imagery even in challenging lighting conditions.

“The sensor is purpose-built to maximize imaging performance and is packed with Leica Geosystems’ latest technology, perfectly tuned and configured for large-scale to country-sized imagery projects,” said John Welter, President Geospatial Content solutions at Hexagon. “Now that the new camera is operational, we are looking for collection partners around the world to operate the system and help us grow the program.”

High-performance, modular optics in airborne imaging sensor

The ContentMapper utilizes the Leica MFC150 optical system in a custom configuration. The high-performance, metric CMOS camera delivers higher accuracy thanks to calibrated custom-built lenses in RGB and near-infrared (NIR). Each of the integrated optical units features independent, mechanical forward-motion-compensation (FMC) and benefits from Leica Geosystems’ recent advancements in selective sharpening and auto color correction.

“The first large-format camera system based on MFC150 technology is built for speed and efficiency during imagery collection. Our experience with the ContentMapper system configuration will benefit the Leica Geosystems sensor roadmap as we integrate the cutting-edge optics into future imaging sensors,” said Werner Kirchhofer, CTO for airborne solutions at Leica Geosystems. “By combining the new solution with the Leica HxMap high-performance, unified post-processing workflow, we create the most powerful, end-to-end aerial mapping solutions in the world, capable of accurately mapping the finest details and configured for large-scale collections such as the HxGN Content Program.”

“We are building foundational high-tech components for airborne imaging and LiDAR surveys, as well as a data processing ecosystem, which will give our customers more options for sensors that meet today’s and tomorrow’s requirements,” said Layton Hobbs, product line director for airborne solutions at Leica Geosystems. “We recognize that our customers need to be agile. We actively listen and build complete sensor solutions which allow them to adapt to rapidly changing needs of their end-customers”.

Leica Geosystem |

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