Lead’Air Launches New Multi-use Oblique Camera System

Lead’Air Launches New Multi-use Oblique Camera System

Lead’Air has developed a new, compact five-camera multi-image digital acquisition system (MIDAS), the Helidas, capable of mounting on the nose of a Bell 206B or AS350 Eurocopter with the use of the FAA-approved Meeker mounts.

With a few bolts the unit can also be disconnected from the helicopter mount and connected to our simplified table design for fixed wing aircraft. The simple design characteristics make the change fast and efficient. The need for flexibility in the design of our MIDAS has become more apparent as the world of 3D oblique imagery becomes more prevalent in the GIS, design and engineering fields.

Fixed wing

Moving the Helidas  from a helicopter to a fixed wing aircraft is a feature providing opportunities to fly projects that may be restricted by Air Traffic Control.

By design, helicopters are intended to fly low and slow and when necessary be able to hover and stop while holding their position in the air. These skills make helicopters very popular with Air Traffic Control (ATC). Contrary to fixed wing airplanes which have to maintain high forward speed to stay airborne, helicopters can do almost anything the Controller asks, such as "hold present position" in mid-air.  In congested airspace where traffic remains intense, one can fly a helicopter safely while staying out of the way of other aircraft.


Air Traffic Controllers know that a helicopter pilot can do just about any manoeuvre necessary to prevent a collision or in-air near misses. This ability is why the helicopter is a platform of choice to fly in congested, controlled airspaces. A fix wing aircraft might wait days or even weeks to get clearances to fly in controlled airspace where a helicopter will almost certainly get a clearance immediately. Lead'Air created the Helidas to take advantage of the great freedom that helicopters enjoy around airports around the world. 

Project types

However, helicopters are very expensive to fly; this is why once the difficult area is captured by helicopter, the Helidas can be easily installed into a less expensive fixed-wing aircraft to complete the remainder of the project. The Helidas, with its ability to be flown at 1000 feet allows the fix wing aircraft to fly under the controlled airspace and promptly complete the mission. Flying at lower altitudes with the helicopter for smaller sites at higher resolution, or at higher altitudes for larger block size projects with the fixed wing aircraft makes the Helidas very suitable for multiple project types.

Capturing Imagery with options of five Canon 5DS R 50 mp cameras, 5 Phase One IXU R 1000 or a combination of one Phase One IXU 1000 for the Nadir camera and four Canon 5DS R cameras for the obliques allows for multiple solutions for the customer.

The inclusion of an Applanix AP 40 IMU provides precise positional data for real-time navigation and post processing for image orientation. The fully stabilised STX type mount provides complete stabilisation of your imagery during capture making this a truly multipurpose package. 

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