PRICISE TARGET GEOLOCATION AND TRACKING BASED ON UAV VIDEO IMAGERY
Keywords: Video, RTK, Geolocation, Kalman Filter, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Abstract. There is an increasingly large number of applications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from monitoring, mapping and target geolocation. However, most of commercial UAVs are equipped with low-cost navigation sensors such as C/A code GPS and a low-cost IMU on board, allowing a positioning accuracy of 5 to 10 meters. This low accuracy cannot be used in applications that require high precision data on cm-level. This paper presents a precise process for geolocation of ground targets based on thermal video imagery acquired by small UAV equipped with RTK GPS. The geolocation data is filtered using an extended Kalman filter, which provides a smoothed estimate of target location and target velocity. The accurate geo-locating of targets during image acquisition is conducted via traditional photogrammetric bundle adjustment equations using accurate exterior parameters achieved by on board IMU and RTK GPS sensors, Kalman filtering and interior orientation parameters of thermal camera from pre-flight laboratory calibration process. The results of this study compared with code-based ordinary GPS, indicate that RTK observation with proposed method shows more than 10 times improvement of accuracy in target geolocation.