Aerial geodata acquisition

Elektra Solar GmbH from Landsberg am Lech expands business area

The company Elektra Solar GmbH, an official “spin-off” of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, specializes in the development and production of manned and unmanned, solar-electric aircraft. For example, an unmanned version of the Elektra Two type achieved a flight altitude of 10,000 m in 2019 during test flights. An unmanned flight to the stratosphere is planned for 2020. Essentially, Elektra Solar’s aircraft are characterized by their robustness and virtually silent flight. In addition to the high-precision autopilot system used, Elektra employs system components developed in-house.

Strategic partnership with 3D RealityMaps GmbH from Munich

The global demand in the photogrammetry markets for high-precision airborne surveys and data-related services has led Elektra Solar to establish a future-oriented partnership with 3D RealityMaps. The solar-electric powered aircraft will serve as a platform for various payloads, such as digital camera systems that provide up to 4 cm resolution and optimal colour fidelity and sharp contrasts from an altitude of 300 meters. Five cameras (1x Nadir, 4x Oblique) are used, which together provide 240 megapixels.

Whether it is the structure of facades or mountain ranges, all details are precisely captured. From the aerial photographs supplied by Elektra Solar, 3D RealityMaps generates survey data according to the customer’s wishes, such as realistic 3D models, orthophotos. 3D models enable, among other things, interactive visualization of building plans, visual axis analyses, distance measurements, good simulations as well as shadow casting simulations, to name just a few.

Whether it is the structure of facades or mountain ranges, all details are precisely recorded. From the aerial photographs supplied by Elektra Solar, 3D RealityMaps generates survey data according to the customer’s wishes, such as realistic 3D models, orthophotos.

3D models enable, among other things, interactive visualization of construction plans, visual axis analyses, distance measurements, good simulations as well as shadow casting simulations, to name just a few.

interactive-1interactive-2

With the help of a multispectral camera, questions in agriculture and forestry can be processed in unprecedented spatial resolution, such as plant growth, pest infestation or ecosystem mapping. In addition to optical images, the cooperation partners offer large-area flights with a thermal camera. This can be used, for example, to identify heat leaks on buildings, locate defective solar cells on PV systems or detect heat discharges into rivers.

The GPS-supported autopilot system ensures that successive, time-delayed overflights are precisely linked to previous flights, thus enabling change analyses over time. Unlike conventional drones, Elektra Solar’s manned aircraft do not require an ascent permit. They can fly over and take aerial photographs of up to 25 square kilometres in a single day at a ground resolution of 4 cm. The ability to capture 3D surface models, colour and multispectral aerial imagery and thermal data in one flyover are unique in the market.

NEWS