The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-3
11 Aug 2014
 | 11 Aug 2014

Geometric processing workflow for vertical and oblique hyperspectral frame images collected using UAV

L. Markelin, E. Honkavaara, R. Näsi, K. Nurminen, and T. Hakala

Keywords: Structure-from-motion, Oblique, Hyperspectral, UAV, 3D point cloud

Abstract. Remote sensing based on unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) is a rapidly developing field of technology. UAVs enable accurate, flexible, low-cost and multiangular measurements of 3D geometric, radiometric, and temporal properties of land and vegetation using various sensors. In this paper we present a geometric processing chain for multiangular measurement system that is designed for measuring object directional reflectance characteristics in a wavelength range of 400–900 nm. The technique is based on a novel, lightweight spectral camera designed for UAV use. The multiangular measurement is conducted by collecting vertical and oblique area-format spectral images. End products of the geometric processing are image exterior orientations, 3D point clouds and digital surface models (DSM). This data is needed for the radiometric processing chain that produces reflectance image mosaics and multiangular bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) observations. The geometric processing workflow consists of the following three steps: (1) determining approximate image orientations using Visual Structure from Motion (VisualSFM) software, (2) calculating improved orientations and sensor calibration using a method based on self-calibrating bundle block adjustment (standard photogrammetric software) (this step is optional), and finally (3) creating dense 3D point clouds and DSMs using Photogrammetric Surface Reconstruction from Imagery (SURE) software that is based on semi-global-matching algorithm and it is capable of providing a point density corresponding to the pixel size of the image. We have tested the geometric processing workflow over various targets, including test fields, agricultural fields, lakes and complex 3D structures like forests.