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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between Spookfish and other aerial survey systems?

    Traditional survey companies, using unproductive, costly, off the shelf camera systems and slow, manual processing methods, continue to dominate the enterprise market for high resolution, spatially accurate imagery. This is because new entrants to this market, while promising high resolution and fast turnaround, are unable to provide imagery that meets market requirements for accuracy and value for money.

    Customers tell us they’re no longer willing to settle for these kinds of compromises.

    That’s why Spookfish developed our own end-to-end system, designed to capture high resolution imagery at much higher altitudes than providers of comparable imagery. This enables our aircraft to avoid much of the air traffic that forces other providers to abandon their survey activity. Importantly, it also means we’re able to capture very large areas faster than other providers, keeping our costs low and ensuring we’re less affected by adverse weather conditions.

    This enables Spookfish to capture the accurate, high resolution imagery and data that enterprise customers expect, publish that data while it is still fresh and frequently update it so customers can see how their sites are changing over time. Even better, Spookfish customers will have access to all this at the most competitive costs this industry has ever seen, not only for major cities but everywhere.

    As well as delivering this quantum leap forward in productivity, our system is capable of capturing high resolution orthophotos, True 3D Models, Near Infra-Red imagery and elevation data - all from a single survey flight.

  • What is the difference between Spookfish and satellite imagery?

    At best, satellite operators can provide 30cm resolution imagery. This means that pixels from the most powerful commercial satellites will cover an area on the ground measuring 30cm x 30cm, or 900cm2.

    How does that compare with 5cm aerial imagery? Well, for a start, the difference is not linear, it's exponential - 5cm resolution is not 6 times ‘better’ than 30cm resolution. Each 5cm pixel covers a ground area of 25cm2, so the improvement in clarity is actually 36 times, not 6. That kind of improvement is the critical difference between guessing and knowing.

    Want to find out more? Check out our insights article: Satellite imagery: the fast-moving space of moving fast in space.

  • What is the difference between Spookfish and drone imagery?

    CASA impose a very different set of restrictions on drones when compared with the well-established air traffic control regime that aerial operators like Spookfish work within. Amongst other restrictions, drones cannot fly over crowds or higher than 400ft (122m) and must be kept in line of sight by on-ground operators at all times. It is also illegal to fly commercially unless the pilot has a CASA-issued unmanned operator’s certificate.

    Most drones used for remote sensing have a payload capacity of a few kilograms, in-air endurance of around 15 to 45 minutes per flight and can capture data of around 5-10km2 with a single camera. This means a typical day of drone surveying may only capture data up to 40km2.

    This contrasts sharply with the higher performance camera system and multi-hour flight time of aerial platforms, which in the case of Spookfish enables the capture of data over tens of thousands of square kilometres a day, at costs of only a few dollars per square kilometre. Plus, OHS risks and logistical issues are reduced given that there's no need to have people on the ground.

    So for now, drones are impractical and uneconomic to use for large area capture programs. However, a drone is simply a vehicle, and these vehicles are evolving rapidly. So should government regulations change and larger drones become available for commercial use, then they may provide another future platform opportunity for our camera system.

    Want to find out more? Check out our insights article: What about drones?

  • How do you deal with weather and cloud cover?

    Like all imagery providers, we have to deal with cloud cover from time to time. Unlike other providers, our technology platform is highly productive and operates at very high speed in the air, which makes it easy for us to operate in even brief windows of good weather.

  • Will you fly surveys on demand?

    The Spookfish technology capability is designed to repeatedly fly very large areas, like countries and continents, on a regular basis. However, Spookfish will constantly review customer demand and our capacity to fly when reviewing customer needs. This may be in times of emergencies or critical needs or other humanitarian crises.

  • Why the name 'Spookfish'?

    The Spookfish is a real fish that lives in the deep oceans at a depth of around 1000 metres. Not much light penetrates to 1000 metres, so if you want to eat and not be eaten, you’d better adapt to your environment – and the Spookfish has done just that... brilliantly!

    The Spookfish is described as having “the most unique and successful optical system across the entire animal kingdom”.

    Drawing on insights from the natural world, we believe that we've developed the most unique, innovative and successful optical system for use in aerial imagery... and that's how we became Spookfish.

  • What areas does Spookfish cover?

    With the rollout of our Australian Program now accelerating, Spookfish is capturing high resolution imagery over more than 270,000km2 each year, including seven capital cities and 33 of Australia’s most populous regional areas. These surveys will ultimately cover communities that are home to around 83% of Australia’s population, or more than nineteen and a half million people.

    The Spookfish Australian Program Guide outlines our entire Australian Program, including exactly which cities, towns and suburbs are within these survey footprints. An overview of these communities is shown in the Guide, along with detailed maps of each survey.

  • Are there really no data caps?

    We don’t impose data limits on our subscription plans, so our customers tend to use Spookfish a lot to discover new opportunities to save money, make the right decisions and grow their business. We want everyone that uses Spookfish to get fast and dependable service from our robust and scalable infrastructure.

    To make sure all our customers get the same fast, responsive experience, we have a Fair Use Policy. The policy applies only in situations where we believe someone is using Spookfish excessively or inappropriately. If your use of Spookfish is slowing things down for other customers, we may have to slow things down for you to keep it fair for everyone.

  • What is a 'user'?

    A 'user' is a unique end user - that is, an actual human being. Each active user must have their own Spookfish account and may not share that account with someone else, even if they are using it at different times. If multiple users are subscribed under a single plan, they can be activated and deactivated at any time, and only active users count towards your total.

  • Do you need my credit card info to start a free trial?

    No - we only ask for your credit card details when you purchase a subscription after your free trial.

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