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aerial photography on commercial flights

  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
  [vote for,

Commercial aeroplanes ought to have downward facing cameras mounted on them to take better high-res aerial images than are available from satellite images. The only maintenance needed between flights would be changing the camera memory card for a new one.
hippo, Nov 24 2010


       You'd want to log the plane's position to the memory card with each photo.   

       I expect the autopilot in a commercial jumbo jet has a pretty good idea of where it is at any point in time, so this shouldn't be too tricky.   

Wrongfellow, Nov 24 2010

       You wouldn't necessarily even need to change the card. It could just be set to transmit the contents of the card when it detects the plane's landed.
nineteenthly, Nov 24 2010

       [+] from me
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2010

       //downward// sp. upward : a chance to get an observatory further upward in the atmosphere.
FlyingToaster, Nov 24 2010

       [+] an extra source of revenue that might keep prices down.
DrWorm, Nov 24 2010

       //The only maintenance needed//   

       Dirt on lens etc. ?   

       And [19thly] has it right. Wirelessly transmitting the photos upon arrival at airport is probably the best way to go.
Jinbish, Nov 24 2010

       depending on the profits of such a system, planes could change their trajectories slightly to cover more ground.
twitch, Nov 24 2010

       // What if the batteries run out //   

       Even single engined puddle-jumpers have sufficent spare generating capacity to support a digital camera subsystem without unduly impacting performance.
8th of 7, Nov 24 2010

       Airliners fly in very narrow airways, over and over again. As a result there would be a fantastic aerial map... of a 20 mile wide stretch between New York and LA. I suppose airliners could be used to map populated areas and that would free up satellites to take pictures of more remote areas.
DIYMatt, Nov 24 2010

       Not to mention those wonderful shots of the Atlantic ocean . . .   


       Who would have access to these photos? Would this be a publically-supported venture and the resutls publically available?
gisho, Nov 25 2010

       I've been on a few airliners that had a downward-facing video camera feeding to the inflight movie screen. So there is precedence and not much to add.   

       (The screen started off showing the view ahead, which was nice during take-off. Later it switched to a downward view, with no warning that I noticed. I looked up, and the "front-view" screen was showing us headed straight down.)
baconbrain, Nov 25 2010

       Ladies and gentleman we're circling Chicago on a beautiful clear night. Let me remind you of the photo screens on the back of the seats in front of you. Click away for a chance to win a free flight in our contest sponsered by Fuji to Fiji. Your own and your passengers photos will be available for purchase at a kiosk in bagage claim and online at halfbaked-air.com. +
Zimmy, Dec 14 2010


       I'd like to see their website.   

       [Sort flights by]   

       Availability Schedule Cost Facilities Reliability Stealth Ejection
normzone, Dec 14 2010

       I'd like to see their fleet!
pocmloc, Dec 14 2010

       I like this as a low cost alternative to services that let you request satellite photos. I've rarely been anywhere where I can't see panes flying overhead, which means they can probably see me. Most planes would have to be equipped with good cameras, of course, but if this is a source of revenue, I could see the airlines going for it. The web site could have a coverage map with the times for the projected flights, or the user could specify an area of interest and a time of interest and let the airline handle the details and stitch the picture together.
cowtamer, Dec 15 2010


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