:: Product Information

ADC Micro

Tetracam

Overview


At 90 grams, the ADC Micro extends the power of advanced multi-spectral imaging to small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.  In so doing, Tetracam's smallest multi-spectral imaging marvel makes this powerful technology – once only accessible via satellites – practical for use by agricultural, industrial and scientific users located around the world.

The system features 16 GB standard storage, fast parallel processing, low power consumption, and simple menu-organized configuration and control, the system captures visible light wavelengths longer than 520 nm and near-infrared wavelengths up to 920 nm. 

Encased inside the bottom of the unit (see image at left), the ADC MIcro possesses a high-quality 8.43 mm lens.  The lens focuses the light that enters the camera on to the system's multi-spectral image sensor.


Sensors and Filters


Three filters atop the sensor limit the radiation that enters it to bands of green, red and near-infrared radiation equivalent to Landsat Thematic Mapper bands TM2, TM3 and TM4.  These bands are the basis for the standard "false color" composite images that have become associated with multi-spectral imagery.  They provide excellent early warning signs of plant stress and their use as indicators of other specific plant and soil conditions has been documented by scientists for decades.

The ADC Micro sensor features extremely high visible and NIR spectral fidelity.  The sensor gathers the radiation that passes through its filters to form a multi-spectral digital image made up of 2048 x 1536 pixels.


Image Memory


This image is saved in an included 16 GB Micro SD memory in one of three native file formats specified by the user (identified as 10 bit DCM lossless, 8 bit RAW, or 10 bit RAW). 

Images are stored along with metadata such as GPS coordinates and/or attitude information (pitch, roll and yaw) that is sent to the system through the ADC Micro's serial interface (see I/O connections described below).  Metadata helps users establish the ground location of each image.  

The ADC Micro's SD memory is easily accessible by the user.  After missions are completed, users remove the Micro SD memory from the camera and transfer its contents to a computer equipped with PixelWrench2, the software included with all Tetracam systems.


PixelWrench2



PixelWrench2 provides color processing of Tetracam RAW and DCM files, complex batch processing tools, a comprehensive suite of image editing tools and the ability to extract various vegetation indices such as NDVI from the captured images. 

In addition to indicating plant stress, vegetation indices such as NDVI enable users to deduce information such as biomass, chlorophyll concentration in leaves, plant productivity and fractional vegetation cover as well as predict crop yield.  Refer to  System Application Notes for descriptions of example applications.




ADC Micro (with 8.43 mm Lens)Ground Resolution & FOV Examples


The ADC Micro enables users to gather information about vegetation at wavelengths traditionally monitored by satellites.  Only, flying in manned or unmanned aircraft, data gathered by the ADC Micro is captured at times completely determined by the user, independent of satellite latency, un-obscured by cloud cover and in images that show considerably higher detail than images captured from space (i.e., with resolutions measured in millimeters per pixel rather than meters per pixel).  

The ADC Micro's field of view (FOV) is laid out in a 4:3 format.  The horizontal angle of view for the system is 42.48 degrees.  The vertical angle of view is 32.50 degrees. 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 8.43 mm lens, when flown at altitude of 400 feet (122 meters) above ground level, this camera creates an image large enough to capture an area measuring 95 meters wide by 71 meters high at a resolution of less than two inches (46.3 mm) per pixel in a single shot. 

Below is a table that shows the ground resolution and field of view for images gathered at various altitudes above ground.  PixelWrench2 contains an FOV Optical Calculator that enables determination of the system's field of view and ground resolution for any user-specified altitude.  For operation in the field, this utility is also available as a free app that runs on Android cell phones. 



System Controls, Indicators and Connections



ADC Micro Controls & Indicators

User control of the ADC Micro is accomplished through hierarchical system menus such as the one shown below. The system menus present users with a series of configuration choices.  Scrolling through and selecting these configures the camera.  

The system menus are visible via a video display (supplied by the user) interconnected by the ADC Micro Test and Control Box Assembly described below. 

The Menus may be navigated by means of buttons visible on the top of the camera.  Viewed left to right, these allow you to scroll up, down or choose a specific menu selection.  An additional button on the far right side of the panel allows you take a picture. 

To the left of these buttons, the ADC Micro contains a USB connector.  System menus may be accessed via the system software (PixelWrench2) running on a Windows computer connected to the ADC through its USB interface.

Check out the User Manual (viewable via the link below) for precise descriptions of the system menus.




Test and Control Box Assembly


The ADC Micro Test and Control Box Assembly (shown at right) is included with each ADC Micro system. This is supplied with an attached cable.  The box contains buttons that enable the user to manually scroll up and down through system menus, pick a selection or take a picture. Via its 15-Pin Multi-I/O connector, this box also may be used to interconnect the camera with the RS232 transmit and receive lines of an optional GPS receiver in order to determine GPS coordinates at image capture time. The box may also be used to interconnect the camera's NTSC or PAL video signal output to an external monitor.



Camera Triggering Options


The ADC Micro may be triggered by various means depending upon the user's preference.   These include:

On-Camera Shutter Release: The ADC Micro possesses a Take Pic button on the camera itself which when pressed triggers the camera 

Auto-Timer: The ADC Micro may be configured to capture images continuously at intervals specified by the user via the camera's system menus.   Press the Shutter Release or trigger the system via one of the methods below to begin continuously capturing images.  Press the Shutter Release or trigger the camera again to stop continuous capture of images.  Always stop continuously capturing images by pressing the On-Camera Shutter Release or via a trigger command prior to powering the system off.  Interruption of power during continuous capture of images may damage the ADC Micro. 

Remote Shutter Release: The ADC Micro's included Controller Box enables users to manually trigger the camera by pushing a button at the desired moment.

External Triggering on UAV: Used on a UAV, UAV circuitry may be patched through its un-terminated System Integration Cable (included with the system) to deliver a low-true TAKE PIC command to the ADC Micro via Pin 5.

RS-232 Triggering:  The camera may be commanded to trigger by receiving an <ESC> T command via the RS232 connection on the ADC/MCA Box.  Due to the delays incumbent in a serial interface, the RS232 link is more commonly used to transfer GPS position coordinates to the camera at camera trigger time. When the camera is connected to a GPS receiver via its System Integration Cable, the camera records the coordinates of the location at which each image is captured into its log file upon receiving any camera trigger command.



Standard System Contents

System Contents Includes:
ADC Micro Agricultural Digital Camera

CDROM with Installation Software and Documentation

Product Manual and Accessory Documentation

USB Interconnection Cable

Micro SD memory card (now 16 GB)

Micro SD to USB Reader/Adapter

DC Power Supply with International Adapters

White Teflon Calibration Plate (AKA Calibration tag or Software Calibration Tile)

Test and control box assembly and Cable

Un-terminated System Integration Cable

Hardened Plastic Storage and Transport Case



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