Digital Aerial Photography from a Balloon or Telescopic Mast

The system developed by AltiBreizh is comprised of three main elements :

1. The cradle,

2. The remote control,

3. The support (mast or balloon).


The cradle :

The cradle is pivoted on two axis with the assistance of an accelerator and electronic compass, thus enabling the cradle to fully stabilised. Stability is essential for the production of high resolution panoramic views.

Communication between the cradle and the remote control device is achieved by the use of Zigbee® technology. It is also equipped with a powerful micro-controller to control stabilisation and facilitate automatic panoramic construction.

The camera, a Pentax® with a resolution of 10 million pixels is housed in the cradle. Communication between the remote control and the microcontroller is by way of a video transmitter.

The remote control :

The remote control makes it possible to control the cradle when in use and fully extended. There are two modes of operation :

1. The first is fully manual the image being taken from the viewfinder.

2. The second being automatic and is used in the construction of panoramic shots.

The controller is equipped with two video screens. The first is involved with the control parameters of the cradle and the second displays the video feed from the camera.

The cradle support :

There are two ways the cradle can be elevated: the telescopic mast and the balloon method. The latter is dependent on the prevailing weather conditions :

The mast, 17 metres high, enables many pictures to be taken at each elevation even in a moderate wind.

The second is a ground tethered balloon which can rise to 150 meters before images are taken, but can only be used in very light winds.