Aerial Imaging System XCAM Pod

CompassData was one of the first U.S. companies to employ a state-of-the-art Aerial Imaging System, the XCAM Pod. It is an accurate, high resolution, and low-cost solution to image acquisition. The intention of the system is to bridge the gap between UAV imagery and aerial large to medium format metric camera systems. The XCAM Pod has more range and airspace access than a UAV and fewer startup costs than a traditional aerial imaging acquisition. It does not require a modified aircraft or dedicated system operator for deployment. This drastically reduces acquisition expenses and promotes mission planning flexibility. Throughout the project lifecycle, the XCAM Pod streamlines workflows, enabling a quick turnaround from acquisition to delivery.


The XCAM Pod can acquire imagery with a Ground Sample Distance (GSD) of 3” (7 cm) to 1’ (30 cm), depending on the altitude flown. Most missions are flown at 2,000 to 4,500’ above ground level (AGL), producing imagery in the 3-6” GSD range. We have found this to be the best utilization of the camera system’s technology yielding high-resolution ortho imagery and DEMs. Based on tests of dozens of missions, we have consistently exceeded horizontal/vertical accuracy specifications outlined by ASPRS (2014) Standard Mapping and GIS work requirements. With a comprehensive ground control network and flight plan, all our projects have met or exceeded customer specifications.

CompassData’s excitement with the Xcam Pod began two years ago at the research and development phase. This provided us with intimate knowledge of the system and its capabilities. We have successfully deployed the system on more than 20 missions in the past year, in environments as varied as dense urban areas to remote mountainous regions. This includes collecting imagery on projects such as airports, transportation networks, oilfields, transmission corridors, surface mines, and golf courses. The XCAM Pod has proven to be a reliable and accurate sensor.

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