Blue Skies specializes in aerial photography and remote sensing for mapping and
surveying. Its expertise includes primary data acquisition, systems integration, and
remote sensing applications. The company's projects include the acquisition of
vertical, high-resolution imagery for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation
Service National Resources Inventory, five national parks and monuments in
Colorado and Utah, riparian studies in New Mexico, and a resource management
evaluation in California and Nevada. Please click here
for a list of selected projects. Please click here
for information about our capabilities and expertise.
Blue Skies has three aerial camera platforms. Two of the aircraft are turbo-charged Cessna T210 "N" models. N5382A is a 1979 model, and N6479Y is a 1981 model. Both are equipped for
large-format aerial photography and remote sensing applications. They have 17"x19" camera holes and contain real-time kinematic-capable GPS systems
for flight-line navigation.
The aircraft can stay aloft for up to 4.5 hours between fuel stops. An average
cruising speed of 180 miles per hour gives them an effective range of more than 800
miles. The aircraft are certified for continuous operations at altitudes up to
27,000 feet mean sea level. Both are maintained and operated in accordance with all
applicable regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation
Blue Skies also utilizes a turbo-charged Cessna TU206. The
aircraft (N756JA) is a 1978 "G" model equipped for large-format
aerial photography and remote sensing application. It uses real-time
kinematic GPS system for flight-line navigation.
The aircraft can stay aloft for up to 4 hours between fuel stops. An
average cruising speed of 130 miles per hour gives it an effective range of
more than 520 miles. The aircraft is certified for continuous
operations at altitudes up to 27,000 feet mean sea level.
Our image acquisition systems are comprised of a Microsoft/Vexcel UltraCam Lp digital photogrammetric
camera, the only one in New Mexico, and two Leica RC30 aerial cameras with
Leica Universal Aviogon /4-S lenses. Please read the calibration reports below for more information.
Blue Skies' digital camera is one of the latest generation of photogrammetric digital
aerial mapping systems. The Microsoft/Vexcel UltraCam
Lp camera simultaneously captures panchromatic, RGB and near-infrared
imagery in a 92 megapixel format. The 11,704 x 7,920 pixel
frame-format sensor uses a 6-micron physical pixel size to produce
pan-sharpened imagery at a 1:2.2 ratio for brilliant color. The camera
system uses a Novatel SPAN-SE Inertial Measurement System and sits atop a
Leica PAV30 gyro-stabilized camera mount. Operation of the equipment
is controlled with a Track'Air flight management system that uses the L1/L2
GPS and INS solutions for flight-line navigation and to control the camera
firing and camera mount gyro-stabilization, including automatic drift
correction. The tight system integration improves the quality of the
images and allows direct georeferencing of imagery for a streamlined
orthophoto production process. The camera was calibrated at the Microsoft Calibration Lab in Boulder, CO in November, 2013.
Skies entry for the We Fly UltraCam video contest|
BSC's film cameras are Leica RC30 precision
photogrammetric mapping cameras with 110 AWAR, and 152mm focal-length Leica
Universal Aviogon /4-S lenses. The
RC30s are equipped with forward motion compensation, electronic data
annotation, and automatic exposure control systems. In the aircraft,
the cameras are mounted on vibration-isolated, gyro-stabilized Leica PAV30
camera mounts that are fully integrated with the Track'Air navigation systems
and the NovAtel SPAN IMU systems to automatically correct for tip, tilt, and
drift. The primary camera (lens #13243) was calibrated by the U.S.
Geological Survey's (USGS's) Optical Calibration Laboratory (OCL) on October
Aerial Film Scanner
Blue Skies owns and operates a Wehrli RM-6 AutoScanner
for aerial film scanning. The
only one of its kind in New Mexico, the RM-6 is a high performance photogrammetric
scanner with superior radiometric and geometric accuracy. The scanner allows for roll
film as well as individual frame scanning and can accomplish scan resolutions of 8-128
microns. Please see our Scanning Brochure
for more detailed
information about our scanner's capabilities.