Compact airborne image mapping system (CAIMS)

Timothy McCarthy, Gearoid O'Rian, A. Stewart Fotheringham

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Airborne image mapping systems, to a large extent, remain the preserve of specialist aerial survey companies and research groups. This paper describes the current status of the CAIMS project, established in July 2006 at the National Centre of Geocomputation, National University of Ireland, Maynooth with their industrial partner; Compass Informatics, Dublin. It's chief objective is to develop a compact, less complex, mobile airborne mapping system. Historically, aerial survey systems comprise technically complex and expensive image mapping systems. These high-end camera and navigation systems are usually installed in aircraft that have been specially adapted to carry out this activity. A dedicated full time team, including Survey Manager, Pilots and Observers are required to support this activity. Compounding the situation is the cost of advanced software modules and associated Data Processing specialists required to turn these data into useful georectified and orthorectified image products. Meanwhile, more advanced, less complex, reasonably priced imaging and navigation sensors continue to appear on the market. Allied to this trend are less complex, cheaper data processing modules enabling data to be collected and processed in a cost effective and timely manner. The CAIMS project was setup to review current technology for compact, relatively in-expensive, mobile aerial image mapping systems. The chief research objective was to develop a complete system in terms of survey operation, data acquisition and processing. Some secondary objectives include: (i) the development of a compact acquisition system that could be installed in common light-aircraft, using a removable, fully licensed mounting system; and (ii) the development of in-flight survey management software tools and downstream pre-processing modules enabling rapid turnaround of georectified mosaics. No attempt is made to reduce the role of conventional image survey systems but rather it is to look at areas where this new technology could be used to complement existing survey work and, indeed, open up new sectors. Some examples of the latter include development of rapid mobile aerial mapping methodologies and route corridor surveys. The results of this work will help develop novel solutions for some age-old aerial survey problems and so enable a wider audience access to this rapidly evolving technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
Issue number5C55
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event5th International Symposium on Mobile Mapping Technology, MMT 2007 - Padua, Italy
Duration: May 29 2007May 31 2007


  • Airborne
  • Camera
  • GPS
  • Mount
  • Photogrammetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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