The MIDAS Acquisition System has been in use worldwide since 2004 and boasts over 100 systems delivered to date. These systems account for millions of professionally produced images yearly and their reliability is well documented.
The MIDAS VI is highly adaptable, with lens configurations ranging from very short, low level 25/35mm pairs to the longest 200/300mm objective assemblies requiring specialized, high altitude platforms and special training.
From the rigid construction of the Cam-Lens mounting hardware, ruggedized yet lightweight mounting array and IMU stabilized mount, to the fully integrated control rack assembly and operating system, the MIDAS VI is completely designed, produced, quality controlled and quality tested in our manufacturing facilities at the Kissimmee Airport in Kissimmee, Florida.
Our systems are unsurpassed in image capture rate, shutter longevity and the all important “overall cost per click”. With shutters that routinely capture over 500,000 images per camera and are easily replaceable, our clients are thrilled with their ability to capture an entire heavy season of imagery without the need of replacement shutters.
New Stabilized Suspension System
The MIDAS VI mount is made possible because of a new, ground breaking fully stabilized camera suspension system. This innovative system allows the camera array to move freely, hovering at a very short distance above or even lowered into the camera hole, without the need for a bulky old-fashioned circular mount.
With no control arms to get in the way or impede movement, the mount “legs” can be adjusted in height to lower the optical array into the mounting hole to the optimal position for each aircraft, allowing smaller holes and/or wider lenses than a mount with a typical gimbal system in the same plane as the optics.
Customized Metric Mapping Cameras
Instead of building the system with very costly medium format cameras, Lead’Air uses less expensive off the shelf, full frame, top of the line DSLR bodies from Nikon. These camera bodies are reengineered and rebuilt in our own manufacturing facilities. They are reassembled using the best available lenses into true metric mapping cameras which are each delivered with an official calibration certificate.
If requested the MIDAS VI can be built with a medium format PhaseOne iXM camera in the vertical position only with 4 oblique DSLR cameras or all 5 positions with medium format cameras. The additional cost of the cameras will be passed on to the client.
Powerful Computer Control Center
The MIDAS VI is controlled by the MIDAS VI Computer Control Center and takes advantage of the years of development creating the best known oblique imaging system in the world.
The MIDAS VI Computer Control Center contains all the necessary controls for each camera, IMU, Navigation interface, stabilized mount and all power functions for the system.
Even the most robust systems occasionally need maintenance. The modular unit allows for operator maintenance in the field with replacement modules overnighted when needed.
Powerful Backup Computer Control Station
The amount of data captured per day can be substantial and because each camera has a dedicated Solid State Drive in the Disk Array it is important to be able to download the data as efficiently as possible. Lead’Air delivers a backup station that automatically and systematically downloads all the data to two of your high speed hard drives to be sent to the office or maintained on sight until the project is complete. Redundant copying is critical in the case of a drive failure.
Plug in the Disk Array, answer a few questions in the custom software package and the system will download all the data from the solid state drives to two drives at once, perform a disk verification and when you approve, reformat the disk array to ready it for the next flight.
Two disk arrays are included with each system, so if necessary, while one is flying and capturing more data the other can be downloading.
Pilot and Operator Displays
The MIDAS system is designed for fully automated operation. With a flight plan loaded, the system assures leveling, drift compensation and automatic firing throughout the mission, so long as the aircraft is flown within acceptable tolerances of the predetermined flight lines. To accomplish this, a track-up pilot display is indispensable for the pilot to guide the aircraft to the flight lines. No manipulation of the camera array or the mount is required during the flight mission, however an on-board operator is required to monitor the system and to ensure all photography is being acceptably acquired. The operator will generally have two screens; A “main” system screen, showing thumbnail images of all acquired photography, and an operator screen displaying the flight plan, so he/she may work with the pilot and air traffic control in flying the mission.
MOBILE OPTIONS : Aside the pilot and operator displays mentioned in the preceding section, the Midas system may be operated with mobile tablet or phone devices, operating through the WiFi interface, standard in the MIDAS control unit.
SNAP-SHOT MOBILE is an application running on Windows Tablet devices, capable of replacing the wired display, in some cases offering greater mobility, flexibility and compactness. Yoke mounts are commonly available for such devices, adaptable to the aircraft model(s) you will be flying.
While the MAIN (thumbnail) screen remains connected by cable to the MIDAS control unit, the Operator screen, also running SnapSHOT, may be loaded with the mobile app, and run on a tablet, iPad, or Windows tablet.
Technical Specifications (General)
(Multi-camera Integrated Digital Acquisition System)
|Power requirements||24-28 Volts at 12-13 Amps|
|Size||19 x 13 x 15 inch (490 x 330 x 390 mm)|
|Navigation/camera control||X-TRACK flight management system|
|GPS receiver||Integrated Garmin 18 or any external|
|FMS interface||Flat panel touch screen|
|Cameras||5 Nikon D-810 36 MP (1 vertical + 4 tilted) OR Canon 5DS 50 megapixel|
|Images||5 x 36 or 50 Mega pixel raw images|
|Image quality control||Real time viewer with thumbnail display|
|Image storage||6 x 250GB SATA SSD Drives|
|Performance||Better than 1 second interval with Nikon D810|
|Altitude||Max 20,000 feet|
|Operation temperature||32-140 Fahrenheit (0-60 Celsius)|
|Shock/vibration||Pneumatic shock absorbers|
|IMU||Integrated Applanix AP40 IMU|
Technical specifications fully stabilized camera mount
|Drift correction||Automatic ; Motorized +/- 30 °|
|Pitch/roll leveling||Automatic ; Motorized +/- 10 °|
|Camera angle||Fixed 45°|
|Shock/vibration||Pneumatic shock absorbers|
Any aircraft with a 19-Inch Camera Hole
Examples : Cessna 172/182/206 (other aircraft possible)
Weight and balance
|MIDAS computer system w’ frame, POS, cables and disks||~106 lbs.||~ 48 kg|
|HELIDAS Mount and extension cylinder||~ 75 lbs.||~ 34 kg|
|Midas array with cameras||~ 128 lbs.||~ 58 kg|
|Total||~ 309 lbs.||~ 140 kg|
Other MIDAS Camera Systems: