I’ve had the good fortune of being invited to help out on projects with Phase One for several years now and for some time now I’ve been working on the iconography for their iX Suite. What is it? – it’s the exciting world of aerial photography, a field that makes perfect sense for the high quality cameras and software developed by Phase One and I’m honored to have worked on the GUI for their new airborne products. A new challenge in this project was working with both the Danish and the Israeli branch of Phase One during Covid. The challenge led to some pretty intense “live” Adobe Illustrator sessions on Teams, luckily humour and jargon is shared broadly between the involved offices 🙂
Always be learning right? – an additional challenge in this project was the color guides laid down by the Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA ). Which is really an expansion of signal colors, for instance: Red ALWAYS signals critical system or emergency in an aircraft interface, pilots are trained to scan the instrument panel as often as possible and any red in the interface / instruments will prompt them to act immediately. Yellow is a warning, brown! means the ground ( blue is sky ofcourse ) … And the Phase One camera faces downwards, so in the beginning it made sense to have the interface background be brown when not using a rolling map. But the pilots interpreted this as the aircraft pointing nose down, so back to the drawing board 😀
The iX Suite comprises 3 programs which are:
iX Plan: Route planning software, what area to capture and what overlap tolerances are wanted ( particularly important when there’s a risc of coulds in the area ) – putting an aircraft somewhere to capture the landscape below is expensive and missing part of that landscape because of a cloud or missing overlap is even more expensive..
iX Flight Pro: The onboard software that helps the pilot and camera operator stay on the planned track and make sure the aircraft attitude remains within defined tolerances ( yaw, pitch and roll ). The pilot has a small display that is mainly information, whereas the operator has a larger display where things can be altered and images previewed.
iX Process: The camera is a an oblique camera which means it consists of multiple single cameras, in this case 6, 2 pointing straight down and 1 set at an angle forwards, port, starboard and aft. That means that the amount of pixels captured is immense. So much so that the hard drives onboard the plane needs to be physically removed and delivered to where they’re going to be processed. So Terabyte amounts of data.. iX Process helps sort through the many many images and allows the user to discard possible poor quality captures.
I’ve learned a lot working with Phase One over the last 10 years, this project was particularly educational in a good way and my thanks goes out to Søren, Anatoli and Oodi for being such great and talented guys to work with 🙂
below is the official product video: