The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B3
09 Jun 2016
 | 09 Jun 2016


M. E. Soler, W. Kornus, A. Magariños, and M. Pla

Keywords: Oblique imagery, Point Cloud, Mesh, Accuracy Analysis, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Line Spread Function

Abstract. In 2014 the Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya (ICGC) decided to incorporate digital oblique imagery in its portfolio in response to the growing demand for this product. The reason can be attributed to its useful applications in a wide variety of fields and, most recently, to an increasing interest in 3d modeling. The selection phase for a digital oblique camera led to the purchase of the Leica RCD30 Oblique system, an 80MPixel multispectral medium-format camera which consists of one Nadir camera and four oblique viewing cameras acquiring images at an off-Nadir angle of 35º. The system also has a multi-directional motion compensation on-board system to deliver the highest image quality.

The emergence of airborne oblique cameras has run in parallel to the inclusion of computer vision algorithms into the traditional photogrammetric workflows. Such algorithms rely on having multiple views of the same area of interest and take advantage of the image redundancy for automatic feature extraction. The multiview capability is highly fostered by the use of oblique systems which capture simultaneously different points of view for each camera shot. Different companies and NMAs have started pilot projects to assess the capabilities of the 3D mesh that can be obtained using correlation techniques. Beyond a software prototyping phase, and taking into account the currently immature state of several components of the oblique imagery workflow, the ICGC has focused on deploying a real production environment with special interest on matching the performance and quality of the existing production lines based on classical Nadir images.

This paper introduces different test scenarios and layouts to analyze the impact of different variables on the geometric and radiometric performance. Different variables such as flight altitude, side and forward overlap and ground control point measurements and location have been considered for the evaluation of aerial triangulation and stereo plotting. Furthermore, two different flight configurations have been designed to measure the quality of the absolute radiometric calibration and the resolving power of the system.

To quantify the effective resolution power of RCD30 Oblique images, a tool based on the computation of the Line Spread Function has been developed. The tool processes a region of interest that contains a single contour in order to extract a numerical measure of edge smoothness for a same flight session. The ICGC is highly devoted to derive information from satellite and airborne multispectral remote sensing imagery. A seamless Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) retrieved from Digital Metric Camera (DMC) reflectance imagery is one of the products of ICGC’s portfolio. As an evolution of this well-defined product, this paper presents an evaluation of the absolute radiometric calibration of the RCD30 Oblique sensor. To assess the quality of the measure, the ICGC has developed a procedure based on simultaneous acquisition of RCD30 Oblique imagery and radiometric calibrated AISA (Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging System) imagery.