consists of a basic
Overview of Tetracam Systems and a detailed
the ADC Micro and ADC Lite Systems.
Tetracam is the leading provider of multi-spectral cameras in the world.
All of our cameras are sensitive to visible and near-infrared
light. Because healthy plants reflect near-infrared light much better than
unhealthy plants, the largest use of our systems is for agriculture.
Farmers all over the world use our systems as early warning systems for
spotting plant threats and increasing crop yield.
We make two basic types of systems, ADCs and Micro-MCAs.
Camera models in our Agricultural Digital Camera or ADC family each consist
of a single camera. These are equipped with fixed filters that look at the
same wavelengths that Landsat satellite systems view. Just as scientists
have used Landsat satellites for years to spot problems with crops or
forests or coral reefs from space, our ADC systems can be used on the ground
or in manned or unmanned aircraft to spot the same kinds of problems. Our
camera systems have become very popular lately because they are inexpensive
and they are easy to fly over crops in comparatively inexpensive unmanned
aircraft systems. They see greater detail than can be viewed from
satellites and their views are never obscured by clouds.
Each of our
ADC models is designed for use in a specific venue:
camera model is designed for hand-held use.
Details about the ADC can be viewed on our web site at:
is designed for use in manned aircraft.
Details about the ADC Air can be viewed on our web site at
ADC Micro systems are designed for use in unmanned aircraft.
Details about the ADC Lite can be viewed on our web site at
Details about the ADC Micro can be viewed on our web site at
For a detailed comparison between the ADC Micro and ADC Lite systems, please
see the write-up below.
Miniture Multiple Camera Arrays are systems that consist of multiple cameras
that are all aligned to view the same image. The Micro-MCA4 consists of four
aligned cameras. The Micro-MCA6 consists of six aligned cameras and the
Micro-MCA12 consists of twelve aligned cameras.
While ADC systems contain fixed broadband filters that match those
carried in Landsat satellites, Micro-MCAs let users select any filter
they wish to use within the sensor's range (450 nm to 1000 nm).
This allows Micro-MCA users to tell the difference between different
types of plants, spot specific plant and soil conditions or specific
compounds like a fertilizer or insecticide. Users can spot any
conditions at all that are identifiable by a unique spectral signature.
Details about our Micro-MCA systems can be viewed on our web site at
PixelWrench2 software comes with every one of our cameras. This software
lets users move images captured on each camera's flash memory
cards into their computer where the images can be manipulated, analyzed or
converted to other standard file formats such as JPEG, PNG, BMP or TIFF.
PixelWrench2 lets users extract vegetation indices like NDVI or SAVI from
captured images. And it allows users to read the GPS data stored with the
images that identifies the exact location where the images were
captured. This data enables users to use other vendors' mosaicking and
geo-referencing software to stitch together the individual images they
captured with Tetracam cameras.
Details about PixelWrench2 can be viewed on our web site at
Each of our cameras has its own user manual that can be downloaded off of
the web site. A hardcopy of the user manual is included with each camera.
PixelWrench2 contains a Help file embedded in the software that explains how
each of its functions work. We have a crop and application database on our
web site that explains basic information about our technology and provides
links to references on the web that show how multi-spectral technology has
been used with specific crops or for other applications.
The Crop and Application database can be viewed on our web site at
We hold a training class three or four times a year near our headquarters in
Los Angeles, California in the US. The class uses lectures and hands-on lab
and outdoor field exercises to teach about our hardware and software, how to
interpret multi-spectral images, how to integrate our systems with manned
and unmanned aircraft and how to stitch multi-spectral images together into
geo-referenced image mosaics.
Comparison between Tetracam ADC
Micro and the ADC Lite Systems
Both the ADC Micro and ADC Lite are specifically designed for
use in UAVs.
Physically, the ADC Micro fits into the palm of your hand. It
grams. The ADC Lite is about double the size of the ADC Micro
200 grams. Both systems are easy to mount into aircraft. The
contains four mounting points at the corners of its front
side. The ADC Micro mounts with three
holes located on the system's base.
Both systems use the same sensor. ADC sensors monitor red,
infrared at the same wavelengths as Landsat satellites. They
essentially equivalent to TM2, TM 3 and TM4. Software that
comes with every
one of our multi-spectral imaging systems converts the
captured images to
CIF images or extracts vegetation indices such as NDVI or SAVI
These vegetation indices simplify differentiating healthy
photosynthetically-active vegetation from areas in the image
vegetation or vegetation under stress.
The ADC Micro and ADC Lite come with a 2 GB memory for holding
600 to 900 images plus metadata such as GPS coordinates to
each image. The ADC Lite uses a CF card for its memory. The
ADC Micro uses
a 2 GB micro SD card for its memory. ADC Lite images may be
the camera's USB interface or by removing the card from the
plugging it into a computer. ADC Micro images may be accessed by removing
the SD card
from the ADC Micro and plugging the card directly into a
computer or using
the included USB to SD card adapter to connect the card to a
The table shows maximum system capture intervals for full
The ADC Micro and ADC Lite are both able to store 8 and 10 bit
sub-second speeds, if necessary, if their resolution is
Besides their size and weight, the major difference between
the two systems
is their optics and interface. The ADC Lite comes with an 8.0
changeable C-mount lens. The camera body has a CS Lens mount
system with a
C mount adapter so the ADC Lite may use thousands of lenses
standard camera shops all over the world. The ADC Micro comes
with a fixed
8.43 mm lens.
The ADC Lite is equipped with discrete Power, Trigger, RS232,
USB and Video
out connectors on the side of the unit. The ADC Micro is
equipped with a
USB interface, external menu control buttons and a 15-pin
that provides access to each of the trigger, RS232 and video
through the individual wires or through a test and control box
provided with the system.
In order to change ADC Lite menu configurations, users must
camera to a laptop running PixelWrench2 via its USB interface
to gain access
to system configuration menus. ADC Micro users can access the
the USB interface or they can use external buttons on the
camera or test box
and view the menu via the video out connector on the Test box.
Both systems run on 12 V DC power and consume about two watts.
The ADC Lite
is tolerant of voltage inputs ranging from approximately 6
volts DC to 14.7
volts DC. The ADC Micro can accept 6 volts DC up to 18V
DC input, more than 3V higher than the ADC Lite. This makes it
a better choice for UAVs running Lithium Polymer (LiPo)
Both systems are able to be triggered in the following ways:
Shutter Release: Both systems contain external shutter
When the button is depressed the camera captures a
Auto-Timer: The systems may be configured via the system
menus to capture
images continuously at intervals specified by the user via the
External Remote Trigger: This is the most common trigger
method used by UAVs
for both cameras. In the ADC Micro, a ground level signal is
this imput typically from the autopilot as the craft arrives
at a waypoint
pre-defined by the autopilot. In the ADC Lite, closing the
between the RING and the TIP on the included External Trigger
the camera to trigger when the autopilot arrives at a
USB Triggering: The camera may be triggered through its USB
Optional GetShot software enables remote triggering under
command of a
linked computer. Optional SensorLink GPS waypoint triggering
enables camera triggering at pre-defined waypoints - a popular
in manned aircraft. Neither method is typically used aboard
RS-232 Triggering: The camera may be commanded to trigger by
<ESC> T command via its RS232 serial interface. Due to the
in a serial link, the RS232 link is more commonly used to
position coordinates to the camera at camera trigger time.
When the camera
is connected to a GPS receiver via its RS232 link, the camera
coordinates of the location at which each image is captured
into its log
file upon receiving any camera trigger command.
The list price of both systems is the same $3795 USD plus
handling. Availability of these systems is about 2 to 4 weeks
from the time
the order is placed.