PRECISION POTENTIAL OF UNDERWATER NETWORKS FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION THROUGH TRILATERATION AND PHOTOGRAMMETRY
Keywords: underwater, photogrammetry, networks, precision, archaeology, SfM
Abstract. Given the rise and wide adoption of Structure from Motion (SfM) and Multi View Stereo (MVS) in underwater archaeology, this paper investigates the optimal option for surveying ground control point networks. Such networks are the essential framework for coregistration of photogrammetric 3D models acquired in different epochs, and consecutive archaeological related study and analysis. Above the water, on land, coordinates of ground control points are determined with geodetic methods and are considered often definitive. Other survey works are then derived from by using those coordinates as fixed (being ground control points coordinates considered of much higher precision). For this reason, equipment of proven precision is used with methods that not only compute the most correct values (according to the least squares principle) but also provide numerical measures of their precisions and reliability. Under the water, there are two options for surveying such control networks: trilateration and photogrammetry, with the former being the choice of the majority of archaeological expeditions so far. It has been adopted because of ease of implementation and under the assumption that it is more reliable and precise than photogrammetry.
This work aims at investigating the precision of network establishment by both methodologies by comparing them in a typical underwater archaeological site. Photogrammetric data were acquired and analysed, while the trilateration data were simulated under certain assumptions. Direct comparison of standard deviation values of both methodologies reveals a clear advantage of photogrammetry in the vertical (Z) axis and three times better results in horizontal precision.