The UAV Collaborative has available four imaging payload packages for UAV use. These self-contained packages include sensors, telemetry system, computing system, and environmental housing.
DuncanTech MS3100. This payload is designed for true multispectral narrow-band visible and near-infrared imaging. It utilizes a single lens and dichroic prism to direct incoming light onto 3 separate 1280 by 1024 CCD arrays. The 3 arrays are co-registered to better than one-half pixel throughout. Narrow-band trim filters are inserted in front of each CCD array to customize the spectral response according to user needs; current filters provide channel centers at 760 nm, 660 nm and 580 nm. A Nikon 35 mm lens provides an 8.5 by 10.6 degree field of view, with spatial resolution of appx. 1 m from flight altitude of 20,000 ft.
Kodak/Hasselblad. A Hasselblad 555ELD camera body and lens, equipped with a Kodak Professional DCS Pro Back with 4000 x 4000 CCD array, is used for high spatial resolution color imaging. Using a color filter array, each pixel element was exposed to only one color of light (red, green, or blue); software interpolation is subsequently performed to generate a full 3-band color image. A 100 mm lens provides a 20.3-degree field of view in both the cross- and along-track dimensions, with spatial resolution of appx. 0.5 m from flight altitude of 20,000 ft.
AiMS. The AiMS payload bundles three different types of sensors to provide complementary color, hyperspectral, and thermal image data. A Model A101fc 1280x1024 Bayer array camera (Basler Vision Technologies) is used for high resolution, geometrically coherent color imaging. A Basler A302fm monochromatic camera is fitted to a miniature imaging spectrograph and operated in push-broom (linear array) fashion to collect hyperspectral (580 band) data in the visible and near-infrared. A small infrared camera (Indigo/Omega) is used for thermal imaging in the 7.5-13.5 micron region. In its current configuration, the three AiMS sensors may not operate simultaneously, but may be commanded to operate sequentially during a given mission.
AIRDAS. AIRDAS is a four-channel line-scan instrument designed for airborne imaging of wildland fires and other natural and man-induced disasters. The instrument has been laboratory-calibrated to accurately resolve fire intensities up to 600°C. Data are collected in four spectral regions: band 1, 0.61-0.68 micron; band 2, 1.57-1.70 micron; band 3, 3.60-5.50 micron; and band 4, 5.50-13.0 micron. Each band provides useful information for fire analysis. Band 1 is suitable for monitoring smoke plumes and distinguishing unobscured surface features. Band 2 (near-infrared) is suitable for analysis of vegetative condition, as well as very hot fire fronts (above 300°K), and is effective at penetrating smoke plumes. Band 3 (mid-infrared thermal) is specifically designed for sensing high temperature conditions. Band 4 collects thermal data on earth ambient temperatures and on the lower temperature soil heating conditions behind fire fronts. Sensor total field-of-view of the scanning optics is 108° cross-track, with instantaneous field-of-view of 2.62 milliradians, yielding spatial resolution of appx. 8 m from flight altitude of 10,000 ft.