REAL-TIME 3D RECONSTRUCTION FROM IMAGES TAKEN FROM AN UAV
Keywords: 3D model, Dense Reconstruction, Real-time, Remote sensing, Surveillance systems, Unmanned aerial vehicle
Abstract. We designed a method for creating 3D models of objects and areas from two aerial images acquired from an UAV. The models are generated automatically and in real-time, and consist in dense and true-colour reconstructions of the considered areas, which give the impression to the operator to be physically present within the scene. The proposed method only needs a cheap compact camera, mounted on a small UAV. No additional instrumentation is necessary, so that the costs are very limited. The method consists of two main parts: the design of the acquisition system and the 3D reconstruction algorithm. In the first part, the choices for the acquisition geometry and for the camera parameters are optimized, in order to yield the best performance. In the second part, a reconstruction algorithm extracts the 3D model from the two acquired images, maximizing the accuracy under the real-time constraint. A test was performed in monitoring a construction yard, obtaining very promising results. Highly realistic and easy-to-interpret 3D models of objects and areas of interest were produced in less than one second, with an accuracy of about 0.5m. For its characteristics, the designed method is suitable for video-surveillance, remote sensing and monitoring, especially in those applications that require intuitive and reliable information quickly, as disasters monitoring, search and rescue and area surveillance.