UAV STRATEGIES VALIDATION AND REMOTE SENSING DATA FOR DAMAGE ASSESSMENT IN POST-DISASTER SCENARIOS
Keywords: UAV photogrammetry, Rapid Mapping, Remote Sensing, Seismic emergency, 3D models, Damage assessment
Abstract. The recent seismic swarms, occurred in Italy since August 2016, outlined the importance of deepen Geomatics researches for the validation of new strategies aimed at rapid-mapping and documenting differently accessible and complex environments, as in urban contexts and damaged built heritage. In the emergency response, the crucial exploitation of technological advances should obtain and efficiently organize high-scale reliable geospatial data for the early warning, impact, and recovery phases. Fulfilling these issues, among others, the Copernicus EMS, has played by now an important role in immediate and extensive damage reconnaissance, as in the case of Centre Italy. Nevertheless, the use of remote sensing data is still affected by a problem of point-of-view, scale and detectable detail. Nadir images, airborne or satellite, in fact, strongly limited the confidence level of these products. The subjectivity of the operator involvement is still an open issue, both in the first fieldwork assessment, and in the following operational approach of interpretative damage detection and rapid mapping production. To overcome these limits, the introduction of UAV platforms for photogrammetric purposes, has proven to be a sustainable approach in terms of time savings, operators’ safety, reliability and accuracy of results: the nadir and oblique integration can provide large multiscale models, with the fundamental information related to the façades conditions. The presented research, conducted within the Central Italy earthquakes events, will focus on potentialities and limits of UAV photogrammetry in the two documented sites: Pescara del Tronto and Accumoli. Here, the aim is not limited to describe a series of strategies for georeferencing, blocks orientation and multitemporal co-registration solutions, but also to validate the implemented pipelines as a workflow that could be integrated in the operative intervention for emergency response in early impact activities. Thus, it would be possible to use this 3D metric products as a reference-data for significative improvements of reliability in typical visual inspection and mapping, flanking the traditional nadir airborne- or satellite-based products. The UAV acquisitions performed in two damaged villages are displayed, in order to underline the implication of the spatial information embedded in DSM reconstruction and 3D models, supporting more reliable damage assessments.