The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B1
03 Jun 2016
 | 03 Jun 2016


G. Kemper, B. Melykuti, and C. Yu

Keywords: Oblique Images, Camera-calibration, 3D City-model, Multi-sensor, Boresight-calibration

Abstract. Beside the creation of virtual animated 3D City models, analysis for homeland security and city planning, the accurately determination of geometric features out of oblique imagery is an important task today. Due to the huge number of single images the reduction of control points force to make use of direct referencing devices. This causes a precise camera-calibration and additional adjustment procedures.

This paper aims to show the workflow of the various calibration steps and will present examples of the calibration flight with the final 3D City model. In difference to most other software, the oblique cameras are used not as co-registered sensors in relation to the nadir one, all camera images enter the AT process as single pre-oriented data. This enables a better post calibration in order to detect variations in the single camera calibration and other mechanical effects.

The shown sensor (Oblique Imager) is based o 5 Phase One cameras were the nadir one has 80 MPIX equipped with a 50 mm lens while the oblique ones capture images with 50 MPix using 80 mm lenses. The cameras are mounted robust inside a housing to protect this against physical and thermal deformations. The sensor head hosts also an IMU which is connected to a POS AV GNSS Receiver. The sensor is stabilized by a gyro-mount which creates floating Antenna –IMU lever arms. They had to be registered together with the Raw GNSS-IMU Data.

The camera calibration procedure was performed based on a special calibration flight with 351 shoots of all 5 cameras and registered the GPS/IMU data. This specific mission was designed in two different altitudes with additional cross lines on each flying heights. The five images from each exposure positions have no overlaps but in the block there are many overlaps resulting in up to 200 measurements per points. On each photo there were in average 110 well distributed measured points which is a satisfying number for the camera calibration. In a first step with the help of the nadir camera and the GPS/IMU data, an initial orientation correction and radial correction were calculated. With this approach, the whole project was calculated and calibrated in one step. During the iteration process the radial and tangential parameters were switched on individually for the camera heads and after that the camera constants and principal point positions were checked and finally calibrated.

Besides that, the bore side calibration can be performed either on basis of the nadir camera and their offsets, or independently for each camera without correlation to the others. This must be performed in a complete mission anyway to get stability between the single camera heads. Determining the lever arms of the nodal-points to the IMU centre needs more caution than for a single camera especially due to the strong tilt angle.

Prepared all these previous steps, you get a highly accurate sensor that enables a fully automated data extraction with a rapid update of you existing data. Frequently monitoring urban dynamics is then possible in fully 3D environment.