We recently completed a case study with our partners, Phase One Industrial, to determine the efficacy of aerial drone data acquisition using the world's smallest and highest resolution medium format camera the Phase One iXU. The camera boasts 8280 pixels in cross track coverage and its sensor has 68% more capture area than any DSLR on the market today. It's lightweight body and form factor make it an excellent choice for high value asset management where aerial imagery is a necessity. View complete specs on the Phase One iXU...


  • Determine that aerial imagery captured by the Phase One iXU provides accurate millimeter per pixel detail needed for wind turbine inspection
  • To show that using a UAV for wind turbine inspection is a safer, cheaper and quicker option then sending up climbers or removing the blade for inspection on the ground

Phase One iXU

ATI Thor X4


For this project our services division, Attain Aerial, flew the ATI Thor X4 octocopter in combination with the Phase One iXU. Built out of carbon fiber and aircraft grade aluminum, Thor is a professional craft for professional operators. With an incredibly high power to weight ratio, Thor can fly safely in the the high wind areas that wind farms are located. It's coaxial motor setup provides high redundancy and power on a frame size that is optimized for both travel and flights in heavy winds. Read more about Thor X4....


We chose to use the Gremsy H16 camera gimbal which allowed us the features and space to integrate this custom payload. Multiple modes on the camera gimbal allowed for both circumnavigation using a point of interest and also 2nd operator, 3 axis control of the camera during close up inspections.

Phase One iXU

Camera type Medium format camera for aerial photography
Lenses Schneider-Kreuznach fast sync lenses
Lens mount Phase One
Shutter speed Leaf shutter: up to 1/1600 second*
Shuttercontrol 1/3 f-stop increments
  • USB 3.0
  • HDMI out
  • Secured power input (LEMO)
  • Camera trigger
  • Mid-exposure pulse
  • Camera status
  • iX Link
GPS/IMU support Applanix, NovAtel, IGI, NMEA devices
Data storage
  • 1 TB SSD storage (optional iX Controller)
  • CompactFlash card: Type I/II including UDMA 6 & 7
Sync speed in multiple camera configuration 100 microseconds with FS lenses
Resolution 8280 x 6208 (50 MP)
Dynamic range > 84 db
Sensor type CMOS
Aspect ratio 4:3
Pixel Size 5.3 micron
Sensor optical size 43.8 x 32.9 mm
Light sensitivity (ISO) Capture rate 100 - 6400
Full resolution frame 0.85 sec
RAW file compression IIQ large: 50 MB IIQ small: 33 MB
Live View 1920 x 1080 25p/30p 1280 x 720 50p/60p
Lens+ technology optimizes
  • Color cast
  • Light falloff
  • Chromatic aberration
  • Fringing
  • Sharpness falloff
  • Lens distortion
Output format Phase One RAW, TIF & JPG w/Capture One
IR cut-off filter Camera system available either with or without IR filter
Connection to pod Four M4 bolts
Power input 12-30 V DC
Maximum power consumption 10 W
Dimensions (excluding lens) 97.4 x 93 x 110 mm (w x h x l)
Weight (excluding lens) 750 grams/1.65 lb
Approvals FCC (Class A), CE, RoHS
Operating Conditions
Temperature -10° to 40°C (14° to 104°F)
Humidity 15 to 80% (Non-condensing)
Operating system for Phase One iX Capture Windows 7® SP1 64 bit Windows 8® / 8.1® 64 bit
* 240 mm leaf shutter speed is 1/1000s