At ITRES, our commitment is to lead the commercial airborne remote sensing industry through innovation and thereby provide our clients with the highest-performing hyperspectral and thermal airborne mapping imagers available anywhere, without compromise.
We’ve been doing this since our inception, more than three decades ago.
ITRES’ Technical Innovation:
Our pioneering history in this field aside, technical innovation has been important to raising ITRES to the lead position in the airborne hyperspectral market and keeping us there.
It has been through the forward-looking vision of our expert science team and their 80+ years of combined research and development experience in hyperspectral that we’ve continued to introduce the market to many commercial firsts: first hyperspectral airborne VNIR, MWIR, and thermal infrared imagers, first commercial RF-based remote operation and monitoring system, first commercial in-flight real-time hyperspectral processing system, first wide-array VNIR hyperspectral imager, first VNIR + Lidar integrated system….
We continue our innovation now with the introduction of the industry’s first wide-array, internally cooled broadband thermal imager, the TABI-1800. Next on our horizon is the In-flight Processing System (IPS™) to be released later this year. This supporting product will bring the never-before-seen commercial ability of hyperspectral and thermal geocorrection and orthocorrection during flight to our industry. Data turnaround times will never be better for those applications requiring fast access to fully processed data, including emergency response and precision agriculture.
ITRES’ High-Performance Design
Hand-in-hand with technical innovation, it has been ITRES’ high-performance sensor designs that continue to maintain our position as the top hyperspectral and thermal sensor developer in the industry.
Since introducing the world to commercial airborne hyperspectral imaging with the release of the CASI-1 in 1989, ITRES has maintained it’s leading corporate position in the ever more competitive industry through its technical designs. From our inception, we’ve recognized that ultimately what counts to the client is the quality and consistency of the image data that makes it to the client’s hands. The higher the data quality, the greater the number of applications, derived information solutions, and operational flexibility that can be realized. In short, the more you can do with the data.
High quality data can only come from high-performance components and technical design.
To that end, ITRES has always focused on the high-performance end of the airborne hyperspectral and thermal imaging market. We have complete optical, electronic, and mechanical design facilities and matching expertise. At the heart of our imagers, and a significant benefit to choosing ITRES, are our custom optics and top-of-the-line detectors. Our optical systems are truly diffraction-limited, meaning that the actual resolving capabilities of our sensors are the best that can be achieved and match our specifications. Optical spot size diagrams bear this claim out for our discerning sensor purchasers. In addition, our custom optical designs also provide our imagers with:
- Crisp focus
- Minimal optical distortions
- Maximized signal throughput
- Maximized signal-to-noise ratios (especially important when acquiring data under less than ideal lighting conditions)
Other characteristics of our mapping imagers that keep them at the top of the class include the quality and traceability of their radiometric calibrations, high spatial resolution capability (resolutions as fine as 10 cm are possible), and operational flexibility.
Hyperspectral Research Strength
ITRES’ scientific strength and ingenuity are the keystones that support both our instrument development and Applications activities. Based on solid scientific first principles, this knowledge base supports all of our hyperspectral and thermal activities. This strong foundation, and our corporate existence, stems from original space imaging research and development of operational scientific imaging instruments for spacecraft.
Just some of the strengths of our Research and Development team:
- Airborne digital imaging technology and algorithm development
- Custom design and fabrication of optical lens assemblies
- Innovative algorithm development for UXO and landmine detection
- Algorithm development used in hyperspectral and thermal applications such as target detection, automated tree
- stem counts and spacing, vegetative species classification, wetlands mapping
- Hyperspectral and thermal sensor calibration
- Software development
ITRES occupies over 10,000 square feet of high-tech research, design, and production space as the lead tenant in the Calgary Technology Center, part of the University of Calgary’s Research Park. Our facilities house the following dedicated physical areas:
- Hyperspectral research
- Optical design
- Mechanical design and production
- Hyperspectral and thermal Operations and Applications
- Information Technology
- Administration and office space
Hyperspectral and Thermal Operations and Applications Group
For those clients needing access to hyperspectral or thermal data or analysis-derived products but not ready to own and operate their own imager(s), our Operations and Applications Group has worldwide airborne mapping expertise since 1996. This extends from project design to large-scale airborne/ground data acquisition, on-site production data processing, and production-level analysis.
Some of the activities of this group include:
- Full hyperspectral and thermal image standard processing (radiometric/geometric/ortho-corrections using Lidar/Ifsar DEMs
- Geometric calibrations (bundle adjustments) using precision GPS/IMU systems precisely synchronized to our instruments
- Simultaneous multiple sensor (multiple spectral region) data collection using our MuSIC™ system
- Analysis algorithm development
- Full mission, field mobilization, and logistical planning capability
- Field truthing/ground measurements
- Atmospheric corrections
ITRES Custom Product Development
Because we are a vertically-integrated company with full hyperspectral imager development capabilities and facilities, we are also able to offer these specialized services to our clients. Have a specialized imaging need that isn’t currently addressed in the marketplace? Let us know and we may be able to develop such a system for you or modify an existing sensor to your specifications.
ITRES Sensors and Lidar
Since 1999, hyperspectral imagery from ITRES sensor shave been successfully fused with digital elevation data from airborne Lidar and Ifsar sources. Elevation data can be included as an extra channel in the orthocorrected image file or as a separate, co-registered file.
The addition of elevation data allows for correction of terrain distortions found in all airborne imagery, thus producing orthocorrected, distortion-free data. Elevation data are also used in hyperspectral and thermal analysis, allowing for image drapes, fly-throughs, calculations of slope, aspect, hydrographic drainage characteristics, and other data visualizations.
Lidar data may be acquired separately from the hyperspectral imagery, or simultaneously. In the latter case, the Lidar system is synchronized to the ITRES imager(s) and precision GPS/IMU system. Up to five ITRES imagers (covering multiple spectral regions) may be installed and operated simultaneously along with the Lidar unit.
CASI-1500 co-mounted with ALTM3100EA Lidar
Our Processing Software
Offered with our imagers is our long-proven and computationally flexible standard processing software and precision geocorrection system. From radiometric correction, attitude and position data processing, geocorrection, orthocorrection, and geometric calibration (bundle adjustment), our proprietary software suite operates under Windows or Linux and features an optional GUI interface. Processing is similar across all our sensor products, simplifying processing for our multiple-sensor clients.
We know that some clients may wish to perform their own sensor calibrations at their facilities. To accommodate this, we offer a calibration system option for each of our imagers, complete with traceable calibration sources, full training, and documentation. Our calibration systems include SpaRCal™, our Spectral and Radiometric Calibration software. This GUI based software guides the user through the processing of the calibration data, towards the creation of the input files needed for production radiometric correction data processing of the raw data from our imagers.
For clients not having their dedicated calibration lab, we offer our new motorized calibration cart that permits calibration data collection to be completed almost anywhere.
ITRES Sensor Controller Software
Output data quality can suffer even from a high-performance hyperspectral or thermal imager if the in-air data collection is made more difficult than it needs to be. The in-air data collection environment can be a busy place, with the operator focusing on the flight lines, aircraft speed, altitude, and heading, and changing weather, atmospheric, and lighting/timing conditions.
The long-proven sensor controller software used with all ITRES imagers allows the operator to focus on the data collection, not the instrument. In-air operation has been designed to be as simple as possible, no matter if one or up to five ITRES imagers are collecting data simultaneously. From clear presentation of the image data and signal levels acquired in real-time, built-in sensor health diagnostics, and real-time alerts, our imagers and their controller software are smart enough to monitor data quality in the background and alert the user should an out-of-tolerance situation arise.
Our Quicklook software easily allows post-flight data review from the removable, high-capacity data drives our raw data is recorded to.
Sensor Extensibility Through Supporting Products
ITRES offers line of supporting products for use with its imaging sensors, extending their operational flexibility or providing you with further piece of mind for your purchase. Some of these options include remote operation capability, our precision geocorrection system featuring high-performance GPS/IMU, airworthiness certification, EMI testing, our MuSIC™ system for the simultaneous operation of up to five of our imagers in the same aircraft, and the coming IPS™, allowing in-flight hyperspectral geocorrection and orthocorrection.
Music™ controller, three sensor configuration
Image analysis is often an integral part towards generating data products or information solutions from processed data from our imagers. To support this ITRES is an authorized reseller of the ENVI™ and IDL™ software by ITT VIS, the industry’s leading hyperspectral analysis software.