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The Camcopter system consists of the Camcopter aerial platform currently configured with a dual sensor gimbal consisting of a CCD camera and infrared sensor, a dedicated Ground Control Station (GCS), a Flight Control Unit, and a Sensor Control Unit. The Camcopter can be operated manually or automatically by programming preselected routes or way points at the GCS. The Camcopter operates in vertical takeoff and landing modes, therefore, there is no need for launch or recovery equipment. The Camcopter system is modular in design, is transported to a field site via a light utility vehicle and can be carried into the field and set up by a single individual. It has integrated fail-safe mechanisms that reduce the risk of injury or inadvertent damage and is simple to operate.