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


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

Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), geomatics, corridor mapping, Terrestrial Mobile Mapping (TMM), integrated sensor orientation (ISO), Galileo E5 AltBOC, EGNOS

Abstract. We introduce a new mobile, simultaneous terrestrial and aerial, geodata collection and post-processing method: mapKITE. By combining two mapping technologies such as terrestrial mobile mapping and unmanned aircraft aerial mapping, geodata are simultaneously acquired from air and ground. More in detail, a mapKITE geodata acquisition system consists on an unmanned aircraft and a terrestrial vehicle, which hosts the ground control station. By means of a real-time navigation system on the terrestrial vehicle, real-time waypoints are sent to the aircraft from the ground. By doing so, the aircraft is linked to the terrestrial vehicle through a “virtual tether,” acting as a “mapping kite.”

In the article, we entail the concept of mapKITE as well as the various technologies and techniques involved, from aircraft guidance and navigation based on IMU and GNSS, optical cameras for mapping and tracking, sensor orientation and calibration, etc. Moreover, we report of a new measurement introduced in mapKITE, that is, point-and-scale photogrammetric measurements [of image coordinates and scale] for optical targets of known size installed on the ground vehicle roof. By means of accurate posteriori trajectory determination of the terrestrial vehicle, mapKITE benefits then from kinematic ground control points which are photogrametrically observed by point-and-scale measures.

Initial results for simulated configurations show that these measurements added to the usual Integrated Sensor Orientation ones reduce or even eliminate the need of conventional ground control points –therefore, lowering mission costs– and enable selfcalibration of the unmanned aircraft interior orientation parameters in corridor configurations, in contrast to the situation of traditional corridor configurations.

Finally, we report about current developments of the first mapKITE prototype, developed under the European Union Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. The first mapKITE mission will be held at the BCN Drone Center (Collsuspina, Moià, Spain) in mid 2016.