In cooperation with the Austrian companies Wild and Mircosoft Graz (formaly Vexcel) a new UltraCam called Eagle was developed. This digital camera was developed for professional areal imagery and is now significant smaller and lighter as other cameras of this class. It can be mounted even on light and small airplanes. This product was possible becuase of the cooperation between Wild, based in Völkermarkt, Carinthia and Microsoft based in Graz, Styria.
The UltraCam Eagle is the first digital and big scale areal camera with changeable lenses. The exchangeable lens system can be steared via a sensor. Companies planning areal image flights have now enhanced flexibility in setting different focal distances on te camera. Because of different goverment regulations the flight height has to be planned (e.g. over cities it is not allowed to fly on low heights). By changing focal distances on the camera the flight heights can vary within one flight.
A seperate computer unit is not necessary any more, therefore the UltraCam Eagle is singificant small and weights about 70 kilo grams insead of traditionally 140 kilo grams. With this weight the camera can be used in one/two engined planes as well as in Jets. No external wires are required, therefore additioal space on the plane can be safed and potential error sources are eliminated.
An additional novum is the development of the electronics. Because of new technologies, the UltraCam has a pixel size of 5,2 µm and can reach radiometric resolution with more than 7500 gray values. The image footprint has been enhanced as well accoriding to the previous model.
The new UltraCam Eagle will be produced entirely within the Wild location Völkermarkt. In a first phase of 18 months 30 cameras will be manifactured. the Camera is sold worldwide. The camera is planned for projects like Global Ortho from Microsoft.