Equipment & Software
PHB utilizes only state-of-the-art digital cameras for both aerial and LiDAR data collection. These are accompanied by powerful on-board navigation and processing software. Twin-engine aircraft are used for data collection. PHB also utilizes the latest industry software products to process data and maintains the software and trained personnel to deliver the final products to our clients in the format required to meet the project needs of various mapping departments.
The Optech Gemini 167 system used by PHB is the most reliable and accurate LiDAR systems available, capable of producing a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) to an accuracy of 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in.) with point-to-point accuracies even better. Since this system can fly up to 4000 m, the system is extremely useful for large area applications where a high degree of accuracy and speed are necessary, or where accessibility is difficult. The ability to fly at a higher altitude requires fewer flight lines thus reducing project time and cost.
Aerial Photography Cameras
For aerial photography, PHB utilizes both large and medium format digital camera systems. This includes large format Vexcel UltraCam-D camera and the medium format Rollei camera.
PHB uses the UltraCam digital camera system on larger aerial photography projects. This camera provides the largest image format available (up to 86 megapixels: 11,500 pixels across track; 7,500 pixels along track) which means fewer flight lines.
The medium image format Rollei digital camera can be used along with or without the LiDAR system. The Rollei is most suitable for smaller projects or corridor projects where the swath width is not large. Used along with LiDAR, the Rollei system provides additional visual ground data that is recorded and serves to supplement the LiDAR data.
The LiDAR system, complete with integral GPS and IMU positioning systems, is mounted aboard the survey aircraft, which is fully equipped for the task. Piper Navajo, Aztec, Cessna, or equivalent twin-engine aircraft are typically used for fixed wing applications. While there are smaller aircraft that could be used for LiDAR operations, PHB has found the efficiencies generated with a larger plane result in faster collection times and better economy for the client.
The primary software package used for processing the LiDAR data is Optech's Dashmap software. Additional post processing software packages are used to meet various client requirements. For example, volumetric calculations are performed using Terramodel's TerraSolid suite software. It is recognized as the industry-accepted terrain model calculation software with modules for many operations including volume determinations. PHB also uses ESRI ArcGIS, ERDAS Imagine, MicroStation, AutoCAD, and other programs within the TerraSolid suite of software.