The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-3/W4
17 Mar 2016
 | 17 Mar 2016


P. Molina, M. Blázquez, J. Sastre, and I. Colomina

Keywords: mapKITE, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Terrestrial Mobile Mapping Systems (TMMS), integrated sensor orientation (ISO), corridor mapping

Abstract. This paper addresses the key aspects of the sensor orientation and calibration approach within the mapKITE concept for corridor mapping, focusing on the contribution analysis of point-and-scale measurements of kinematic ground control points. MapKITE is a new mobile, simultaneous terrestrial and aerial, geodata acquisition and post-processing method. On one hand, the acquisition system is a tandem composed of a terrestrial mobile mapping system and an unmanned aerial system, the latter equipped with a remote sensing payload, and linked through a 'virtual tether', that is, a real-time waypoint supply from the terrestrial vehicle to the unmanned aircraft. On the other hand, mapKITE entails a method for geodata post-processing (specifically, sensor orientation and calibration) based on the described acquisition paradigm, focusing on few key aspects: the particular geometric relationship of a mapKITE network – the aerial vehicle always observes the terrestrial one as they both move –, precise air and ground trajectory determination – the terrestrial vehicle is regarded as a kinematic ground control point – and new photogrammetric measurements – pointing on and measuring the scale of an optical target on the roof of the terrestrial vehicle – are exploited.

In this paper, we analyze the performance of aerial image orientation and calibration in mapKITE for corridor mapping, which is the natural application niche of mapKITE, based on the principles and procedures of integrated sensor orientation with the addition of point-and-scale photogrammetric measurements of the kinematic ground control points. To do so, traditional (static ground control points, photogrammetric tie points, aerial control) and new (pointing-and-scaling of kinematic ground control points) measurements have been simulated for mapKITE corridor mapping missions, consisting on takeoff and calibration pattern, single-pass corridor operation potentially performing calibration patterns, and landing and calibration pattern. Our preliminary results show that the exterior orientation, interior orientation and tie points precision estimates are better when using kinematic control with few static ground control, and even with excluding the latter. We conclude then that mapKITE can be a breakthrough on the UAS-based corridor mapping field, as precision requirements can be achieved for single-pass operation with no need for traditional static ground control points.