Prior to any customer flights, ControlCam establishes an efficient flight plan to collect the imagery requested. We leverage Track’Air’s X-Track Flight Management system to define the optimal flight paths for a project. The customer’s imaging area is first increased slightly by a predetermined buffer to ensure all cameras will capture the target area plus an additional buffer. The next key element of a good flight plan is an understanding of the customer’s desired image resolution, also known as Ground Sampling Distance or GSD for short. The GSD determines the target size of each image footprint on the surface of the earth and this drives the flight elevation for the aircraft.
The customer area shape file and desired resolution (GSD) are then entered into the X-Track system. The X-Track system then establishes an initial flight plan. An example of a flight plan is shown in the image on the left, below. The flight planner next reviews all of the image centers (image on the right, below) to ensure the entire customer area plus buffer is fully covered. The final output product is a complete set of planned image centers and flight paths for ControlCam flight crew use.
This flight plan is shared with the customer and also used in subsequent steps of our processing of the imagery, thus flight planning is a critical step in the imagery processes.
Please click on each image below for a closer view: