SYSTEM CONSIDERATIONS AND CHALLENDES IN 3D MAPPING AND MODELING USING LOW-COST UAV SYSTEMS
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), System architecture, Calibration, Integration, Processing
Abstract. In the last few years, low-cost UAV systems have been acknowledged as an affordable technology for geospatial data acquisition that can meet the needs of a variety of traditional and non-traditional mapping applications. In spite of its proven potential, UAV-based mapping is still lacking in terms of what is needed for it to become an acceptable mapping tool. In other words, a well-designed system architecture that considers payload restrictions as well as the specifications of the utilized direct geo-referencing component and the imaging systems in light of the required mapping accuracy and intended application is still required. Moreover, efficient data processing workflows, which are capable of delivering the mapping products with the specified quality while considering the synergistic characteristics of the sensors onboard, the wide range of potential users who might lack deep knowledge in mapping activities, and time constraints of emerging applications, are still needed to be adopted. Therefore, the introduced challenges by having low-cost imaging and georeferencing sensors onboard UAVs with limited payload capability, the necessity of efficient data processing techniques for delivering required products for intended applications, and the diversity of potential users with insufficient mapping-related expertise needs to be fully investigated and addressed by UAV-based mapping research efforts. This paper addresses these challenges and reviews system considerations, adaptive processing techniques, and quality assurance/quality control procedures for achievement of accurate mapping products from these systems.