Mounts & Rigs
The old traditional ten inch aerial film cameras always came with a dedicated mounting system and to some extent their successors, the large format digital cameras, still do. Their sheer size demands it. However, most medium format photogrammetric cameras, laser scanners, inertial systems and multi spectral cameras do not. The user either builds his own or employs someone to do it for him.
The pictures illustrate some of the systems we have assembled and built over the years. Most for ourselves. Some for other clients.
One quickly learns that every aircraft is unique. The positions and dimensions of the ports are different, the mounting rails or hard points are never the same, power deliveries vary widely, cable runs and cable interconnections are variable, vibration levels differ greatly between single and multi engine aircraft and helicopters present unique challenges all of their own.
At the design stage the complexity of the mount also has to be considered in relation to the type of hardware it is carrying and the nature of the work it will perform. For example, with modern software there is little to be gained from using a fully gyro stabilized mount in a fixed wing aircraft as long as the camera system has a wide field of view and is used mostly for low altitude work. On the other hand, for narrow angle, high altitude work or deployment in an unstable platform like a microlight it may well be desirable or even essential. Many other similar factors have to be considered.