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ADC Agricultural Digital Camera





Tetracam's Agricultural Digital Camera (ADC) sets the standard for multi-spectral imaging of crop canopies and vegetation.  The ADC boasts a conventional digital camera's feel while delivering unparalleled multi-spectral imaging capabilities. 

The ADC contains a single precision 3.2 megapixel image sensor (storing 2048 x 1536 pixels) optimized for capturing visible light wavelengths longer than 520nm and near-infrared wavelengths up to 920nm. The image sensor is divided into a mosaic of tiny optical filters. Each filter allows a separate red, green or NIR band of wavelengths  to pass while blocking others.  These are equivalent to TM2, TM3 and TM4 Landsat bands.



PixelWrench2, the image processing software included with the camera, enables extraction of standard vegetation indices (such as NDVI, SAVI, canopy segmentation and NIR/Green ratios) from the captured images.   Competing with images available from satellites, the ADC offers lower-cost image capture, freedom from cloud cover and the ability to readily obtain re-occurring images for timely comparisons.  Refer to our Multispectral Crop 

and Application Database or Selected Readings for descriptions of example applications.

The ADC is GPS compatible and ideal for ground-based or airborne operations.  The unit's liquid crystal display provides the user with the ability to observe the live image, menus for handheld use, and color palletized vegetation indexed images. The same images available on the LCD may be sent to a remote receiver.

ADC (with 8.0 mm Lens)

Ground Resolution & FOV Examples

The ADC's field of view (FOV) is laid out in a 4:3 format.  When carried in a manned or unmanned aircraft, the field of view increases as the above ground level (AGL) altitude increases.   As the AGL increases, the camera's ability to resolve individual details on the ground decreases.   With its standard 8.0 mm lens, when flown at altitude of 400 feet above ground level, this camera creates an image large enough to capture 1.85 acres at a resolution of less than two inches per pixel in a single shot! 


System Controls and Connections


  ADC Controls


  User control of the ADC is accomplished through a hierarchical system of menus     such as the one shown at left. These are accessible via the liquid crystal display and buttons on the back of the unit or through the system software (PixelWrench2) running on a Windows computer connected to the camera via its USB interface. The system menus present users with a series of configuration choices.  Scrolling through and selecting these configures the camera. 


  The button on top of the ADC acts as a shutter release.  When this button is pressed down, the system captures an image.  The shutter button contains a circular Hirose connector (shown at left).  This connector enables the camera to be connected to an accessory ADC/MCA Test Control box (pictured below) or to un-terminated wires that users may connect to other external devices.





   The ADC's daylight-viewable liquid crystal display possesses a high definition 16:9 aspect ratio. In operation, the  camera's viewfinder is flanked by an information panel which shows the state of the device without having to access system menus. The items that are displayed during normal operation on the right side of the screen include: 

   Firmware version
   Battery % charge
   File format mode DCM/RAW8/RAW10
   Alarm setting OFF/ON
   Continuous Capture ON/OFF
   Available memory on CF card
   Picture counter
   Exposure AUTO/FIXED, Exposure +/- setting
   Average and Peak Brightness values (%)
   Viewfinder image histogram
   Current Time





ADC  Connections

The ADC obtains its power from a 12 VDC external power supply provided with the unit.  This plugs into the 12V power input on the side of the chassis.   The system is also able to be powered by means of eight AA alkaline batteries inserted into the opposite side of the chassis.

The camera contains a Video Out connector that may be used to feed the same images available on the LCD to a remote receiver via a wire or telemetry.


To the right of the Video Out connector, the USB connector provides a link to host computers.  PixelWrench2 can process images accessed via this link or the CF card containing the images may be pulled from the camera and inserted to the computer containing PW2.  The camera contains an RS232 link that may be connected to a GPS receiver for capturing the precise GPS coordinates at the exact instant that an image is captured.  Lastly, the camera contains a external Trigger connector.  An External Trigger Cable (un-terminated on one end) is available with the system for remotely triggering the camera to capture images.  Closing the connection between the RING and the TIP on the provided cable causes the camera to trigger (reference TYPICAL EXTERNAL TRIGGER CIRCUIT for further details).  The ADC may also be triggered in a variety of other ways. Check out the User Manual below for precise descriptions of the system menus and all other controls and connections in the ADC.

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