The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B1
06 Jun 2016
 | 06 Jun 2016


S. Mikrut

Keywords: UAV, classical (airborne) photogrammetry, geometry and radiometry aspects

Abstract. The UAV technology seems to be highly future-oriented due to its low costs as compared to traditional aerial images taken from classical photogrammetry aircrafts. The AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow - Department of Geoinformation, Photogrammetry and Environmental Remote Sensing focuses mainly on geometry and radiometry of recorded images. Various scientific research centres all over the world have been conducting the relevant research for years. The paper presents selected aspects of processing digital images made with the UAV technology. It provides on a practical example a comparison between a digital image taken from an airborne (classical) height, and the one made from an UAV level. In his research the author of the paper is trying to find an answer to the question: to what extent does the UAV technology diverge today from classical photogrammetry, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods? The flight plan was made over the Tokarnia Village Museum (more than 0.5 km2) for two separate flights: the first was made by an UAV - System FT-03A built by FlyTech Solution Ltd. The second was made with the use of a classical photogrammetric Cesna aircraft furnished with an airborne photogrammetric camera (Ultra Cam Eagle). Both sets of photographs were taken with pixel size of about 3 cm, in order to have reliable data allowing for both systems to be compared. The project has made aerotriangulation independently for the two flights. The DTM was generated automatically, and the last step was the generation of an orthophoto. The geometry of images was checked under the process of aerotriangulation. To compare the accuracy of these two flights, control and check points were used. RMSE were calculated. The radiometry was checked by a visual method and using the author's own algorithm for feature extraction (to define edges with subpixel accuracy). After initial pre-processing of data, the images were put together, and shown side by side. Buildings and strips on the road were selected from whole data for the comparison of edges and details. The details on UAV images were not worse than those on classical photogrammetric ones. One might suppose that geometrically they also were correct. The results of aerotriangulation prove these facts, too. Final results from aerotriangulation were on the level of RMS = 1 pixel (about 3 cm). In general it can be said that photographs from UAVs are not worse than classic ones. In the author's opinion, geometric and radiometric qualities are at a similar level for this kind of area (a small village). This is a very significant result as regards mapping. It means that UAV data can be used in mapping production.