Lightweight high resolution camera for high altitude UAV

Under the ESA-PRODEX program VITO has developed the 2,6 kg high resolution camera system MEDUSA-FM together with a Belgian industrial consortium. The camera is designed to fly on a solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at stratospheric altitudes between 15-18 km. By means of a custom designed CMOS image sensor it is able to cover a wide swath of 3 km and deliver 30 cm high resolution images (panchromatic and colour) from its operational altitude. The camera system operates autonomously and transmits its data in real-time to a ground control station independent from the platform. It contains a hardware synchronised GPS-IMU system to allow direct georeferencing. The camera is ideally suited for large scale mapping, disaster monitoring and surveillance activities over wide areas.

A demonstration of the MEDUSA-FM camera is shown in the following video: