SOMAG AG Jena, headquartered in the high-tech location of Jena in the middle of Germany, is a global specialist for high-precision gimbal systems and the world market leader for stabilization platforms in the aerial photogrammetry sector. 

Since its establishment in 2004, the company has comprised a select team of experts specializing in electronics, mechanics, and software engineering. Their primary focus lies in the design and production of Gyro Stabilization Mounts tailored for data acquisition and surveillance across airborne, terrestrial, and maritime applications.

Interview with Andreas Steps, CEO & Sebastian Schreiber, CTO at SOMAG AG Jena.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Andreas: We are offering Gyro Stabilization Mounts for Airborne, Marine and Land applications developed and manufactured in Germany and delivered all over the world. The most active business field for us is still the airborne sector, as this is where our first product was developed: The Gyro Stabilization Mounts GSM 3000. Overall, the Airborne product portfolio comprises three different Gyro Stabilization Mounts for large format, multiple medium format and single medium format sensors. All aerial camera stabilizers are designed for operation inside airplanes, helicopters or UAVs. Our equipment can be combined with a variety of cameras systems, LiDARs, hyper- and multispectral cameras. Our Airborne Mounts are the industry standard which perfectly matches the sensor systems of our clients.

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

Sebastian: Our latest product, the RSM 50, is a small Gyro Stabilization Mount for Marine applications. The unit is designed to suit 360° Panoramic detection cameras, LiDAR´s, EOIR imaging systems or other sensors with a maximum weight of 40 kg. The Stabilizer offers a maximum torque of 50 Nm while the unit itself only weights 11.5 kg.

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

Sebastian: Our product line offers the right stabilization platform for every application, combined with a high degree of flexibility in terms of the camera or scanner to be used. This makes them multi-purpose for a wide range of applications, such as mapping and surveying, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well as video recordings or data transmission projects. We also offer additional hardware accessories, software features for the SOMAG Mount Control app and an effective support.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

Sebastian: On one hand, a wait-and-see attitude can currently be noted on the market, which is influenced by the global political and economic situation. On the other hand, we are constantly receiving inquiries from all over the world for exciting projects and, as one of the few manufacturers of stabilization platforms on the global market, we develop solutions for and with our customers to support them in the implementation of their projects.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

Andreas: An absolute market trend are “unmanned systems”, which are a topic at every branch trade fair and in al lot of technical journals. For this application our devices are ideally suited, as they are designed for operation in harsh weather, environmental and water conditions onboard boats, ships, Unmanned/Autonomous Surface Vehicles and buoys.

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

Sebastian: In 2023 we launched our latest mount on the market: The Ruggedized Stabilization Mount RSM 50 is designed to provide the highest possible level of stabilization for mobile mapping, scanning, imaging, and video capturing with ground vehicles but also the acquisition of perfectly stabilized offshore data.

It combines following advantages: 

  • COMPACT AND LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN suitable for deployment on USVs and small buoys and on UGVs and vehicles
  • ADAPTABLE TO OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS upside-down hanging application possible,
  • MOST COST-EFFECTIVE MARINE and LAND GYRO MOUNT suitable for entry-level users

E.E: What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

Andreas: Based on the current situation on the global market but also for seasonal reasons, we started the year 2024 at a quite moderate level. Nevertheless, after last year’s excellent performance, we expect at least the same good result during this year.