Public Lab Research note

The Titan 2 Rig

by cfastie | April 28, 2014 03:35 28 Apr 03:35 | #10374 | #10374

The Infragram camera makes capturing aerial photos for infrared vegetation analysis easy. The alternate method is to use two cameras, one for visible light and one for near infrared light. This doubles the weight and expense, and requires synchronizing the shutters of the two cameras and then aligning the photo pairs afterwards. But this is the only way to get a pure near infrared photo and a pure red light photo of the same aerial scene (both are needed for standard NDVI). It also allows the creation of false color infrared images using infrared, red, and green data (Infragrams never have both red and green bands). I have a few different Infragram cameras, but when I want to get the best quality aerial infrared photos for vegetation analysis, I fly a dual camera system. I designed a rig to hold two cameras and the required electronics for this purpose. The 3D printable design is freely downloadable at Thingiverse.

Cameras can be quickly mounted so that they are aligned to capture the same scene. Tubing bumpers protect the cameras and are easily configurable.

The Titan 2 Rig has some features intended to improve the quality of the photos:

  • Raised lips at the back of the camera platforms ensure that the cameras are automatically aligned as soon as they are mounted. The photo pairs will have maximum overlap every time.
  • When the cameras are mounted, all the controls and the LCD are always accessible.
  • A suspension system (Picavet or pendulum) is easily clipped into place, and the mass of the cameras is always centered under the point of attachment, ensuring more vertical photos.
  • There is lots of room on the shoulders of the upper frame to mount electronics for synchronizing the two camera shutters. Portholes allow easy access to the camera USB ports.
  • The dual camera tray can be tilted to capture oblique aerial photos.

If you can print your own parts, the printing tips, assembly instructions, and list of additional hardware are available at the KAPtery site. Kits of the required hardware are also for sale at the KAPtery. There are also a few complete kits with 3D printed parts and all hardware for sale for those without access to a printer (I printed one in translucent green today). The kits are easy to assemble. Only drilling the holes for the tripod screws and upper frame attachment require careful attention.

The Titan 2 Rig with normal and infrared Canon A495s and external shutter trigger electronics. USB cables reach the cameras through oval windows.

The Titan 2 camera rack can be tilted for oblique photography while keeping the camera mass centered under the suspension point.

Let me know if you are interested in a completed rig with cameras and electronics.


Nice work! I'll be sure to try it out as soon as I've got my 3D printer :)

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