Auk 3E (AWC3E)

Tetracam's Smart Agricultural Wireless Enclosed Camera

Hardware Configuration
Software Features
System Specifications
GPS/IMU Option
Browser Interface Overview
Macaw Macaw Thermal Auk Hawk ILS ADC Micro ADC Snap Single Band/UV µ-MCA RGB+3

Hardware Configuration

The Auk 3E is an entry level low priced rolling shutter camera for agricultural applications. The system features a powerful quad core processor housed in a moisture resistant protective enclosure appropriate for outdoor or greenhouse use.

The unit can be equipped optionally with an internal IMU and GPS, making it unnecessary to supply anything to the unit except power on most missions.

The unit is based on the “smart camera” Linux controller technology first introduced in our MCAW cameras. It features a user friendly browser interface, and a variety of Linux interfacing options available from the wireless interface. Files can be downloaded with a browser button, or via a Samba network connection using a File Explorer. There is also a USB2 and Ethernet connection for situations in which a wireless transceiver is not available. Smart NDVI processing is available in the camera and the options to customize it are numerous.

The camera has an interface connector with power, ground, picture switch and RS232 serial I/O. It can run on any input voltage from 6 to 30 volts DC. Image storage memory is 16 GB by default, but the unit can optionally be configured with 48 GB of capture memory.

The image sensor is configured for 2 megapixel image capture, with NIR, Red, Green bayer pattern filtration. A maximum of two images per second can be captured in continuous mode.

Software Features

The camera is capable of smart NDVI processing; in other words, it can perform extraction of NDVI images and false color RGB images as background tasks while images are being acquired, eliminating the need for post processing prior to generating a mosaic. Image capture can be automatic, based on GPS offset or time delay. Capture can also be triggered from the serial port or Take Picture logic signal.

A GPS listener on the serial port allows external GPS or Mavlink 1.0 autopilot data to be appended to the images as metadata. The unit interfaces to the Tetracam PixelWrench and Log Distiller utilities for batch processing of the captured data. Internal GPS and IMU data are also present as metadata in the images.

GPS/IMU Option

The Auk has a GPS/IMU option available; accordingly, an Auk user can geolocate their imagery and provide inertial measurements. The GPS/IMU data is supplied in one string of metadata: a Mavlink string. When a user is done with an image taking mission, their data will be ready to process in PixelWrench or other software, GPS/IMU information available either via image metadata or logs. The IMU part of the option consists of heading, pitch, and roll.

Browser Interface Overview

The Auk can be entirely controlled via a web browser, which means a tablet, desktop, laptop, or smartphone can administrate the Auk easily, as can be seen from the image to the left. Taking pictures, erasing pictures, setting the date and time, viewing images, and editing settings, for example, can all be done by clicking the buttons on the main page of the interface. Pictures taken can be reviewed and a live video feed is available. Individual pictures may also be downloaded.

When reviewing pictures, raw image data can be selected to be shown as well as various indices, such as false color NIR/Red/Green RGB and NDVI extractions. This is done without the need of transferring the pictures to another device. If the user is close enough to their Auk while it is taking pictures, such as in a manned aircraft, they are able to review the pictures while the mission is taking place to be sure everything is going according to their unique plan.

System Specifications

Power220mA at 12 volts, 6 to 30 volt input
Weight180 grams
EnvironmentalCommercial Temperature / Humidity Ranges
Temperature0 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit)
HumidityLess than 85% relative humidity, noncondensing
Data StorageMicro SD memory card, up to 48G
Included SoftwarePixelWrench2 image processor
Host InterfaceIeee80211 wireless, Gigabit Ethernet networking, and USB2 data transfer
Command / ControlRS232 I/O for reports measurements
Auto trigger mode (continuous capture, GPS offset)
Web browser display and user interface
PerformanceTwo images per second capture rate
Four built in band measurement filters
OptionsInternal IMU

Smart NDVI cameras are multispectral cameras for precision agriculture that can calculate vegetation indices and create false color NDVI images without the use of an image processing program accessory.

Precision Farming and Forestry need multispectral camera and NDVI camera images to create orthomosaic maps that allow interventions to be optimized. NDVI phenocameras that can perform time lapse photography are best for slow growing flora, while faster growing commercial harvests are best served by airborne NDVI mapping cameras.