Third Party Spotlight: Mission Aware Technologies

Mission Aware Technologies was founded in 2014 by Dean Mountford and we focused on developing high resolution terrain models and databases for use in flight simulation, film and television production, embedded graphics markets and various other industries.

Our founder Dean is a licensed pilot and grew up around aviation since birth.  He is the son of a Boeing 727-277 and 767-277 Flight Engineer and from an early age was exposed to Level-D Boeing simulators at Ansett Airlines.

Dean is also a professional film maker with over 20 years experience in Film and Television production on major motion pictures and television shows such as Flipper, Beastmaster, The Lost World and several other movies.  In his professional film career Dean has developed advanced skills in image color correction and enhancement which allows him to develop advanced terrain database models which are superior in image quality, color and accuracy than what is currently available.

A user of Flight Simulator since Sublogic’s version 1 over 30 years ago, Dean has an intimate knowledge of the simulation platform that very few people have.  Dean was also on the beta team for Microsoft Flight Simulator X and was part of the Design Advisory Board for the Microsoft Flight Simulator 11 which Microsoft unfortunately cancelled when they shut down the ACES team.

For the last 8 years Dean has been developing his skills with Geospatial Software that allows him to convert raw aerial imagery from the U.S. National Agriculture Imaging Program (NAIP) and convert it for use as a finished product to enhance Lockheed Martin Prepar3d, Microsoft Flight Simulator X and Microsoft ESP.  He has also developed software scripts and programs to develop these databases with the click of a button through automation.

As a private pilot, Dean places a high value on flight simulator terrain databases being as real as it gets.  Flying in a simulator that emulates the earth’s terrain as close as possible to the real world means that licensed pilots are able to practice real world maneuvers and navigation exercises with an accurate frame of reference within the simulator.  Such accuracy allows pilots to become better trained, can save lives and help with air crash investigations.

Ultimate VFR

We designed Ultimate VFR Photoscenery to be the ultimate in high detail photoscenery for Microsoft® Flight Simulator X.

The Ultimate VFR photoscenery series started development in 2006 during the Microsoft Flight Simulator X beta testing period.

Ultimate VFR provides 1.2m per pixel, professionally color corrected, color graded, performance and full color spectrum optimized photoscenery for the United States based on 1m per pixel aerial imagery from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Aerial Imaging Program (NAIP).

As we shared our dreams, research, development and goals with the flight simulation community we soon realized that our photoscenery needed to contain much more than just basic aerial imagery.  We started the long process of developing technology that can generate USA wide photoscenery very rapidly and on a massive scale.

We set to work on developing tools, technologies and techniques to provide the level of detail that we ourselves longed for but also our friends in the flight simulation community were asking for.

For home enthusiasts flying over accurate landscapes in a flight simulator allows for virtual travel experiences to exotic places they potentially would never see in real life.  It is also an excellent tool to assist those interested in an aviation career as flight crew.

It was with the support of the Flight Simulator community that our vision for this project reached fruition in 2014.

Imagery for Ultimate VFR is supplied by Digital Earth Data, a new generation geospatial data and services company headquartered Queensland, Australia.  Founded in 2014 Digital Earth Data provides aerial imagery, image processing, terrain databases, elevation data, vector mapping data and custom mapping services to commercial and government customers worldwide.

Digital Earth Data’s online geospatial data store has been developed as a unique one stop e-commerce enabled data distribution channel for refined, high quality, integrated, intelligent, geospatial datasets derived from public domain and open source datasets.

Custom services include image optimization, color correction, color grading, terrain database generation, data integration & conversion and 3D city, state & country modeling.

 -Dean Mountford, founder, May 2015

Images: Main image: Screenshot from Ultimate VFR: Guam

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