EVALUATION OF 3D UAS FLIGHT PATH PLANNING ALGORITHMS
Keywords: Quality Assessment, Image-based Monitoring, Photogrammetry, UAS, Flight Path Planning, Accuracy
Abstract. The application of image-based methods in inspections and monitoring has increased significantly over recent years. This is especially the case for the inspection of large structures that are not easily accessible for human inspectors. Here, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can support by generating high-quality images, that contain valuable information about the structure’s condition. To guarantee high quality and completeness for the acquired data, inspection missions are planned in advance by computing a flight path for the UAS, that covers the entire structure with the required quality. Many approaches on this topic exist that aim to solve this planning task. Nevertheless, each publication on this matter mostly stands on its own, working with its own criteria and no comparison to other approaches. Therefore, it is currently not possible to compare different approaches and select the most suitable for a specific scenario. To solve this problem, this work proposes an evaluation pipeline that applies well defined quality criteria on flight paths for close-range image-based inspections. These criteria are limited to fundamental aspects for the evaluation of paths that were created for diverse scenarios with diverse criteria and still find common ground for comparison. As experiments show, this pipeline allows the comparison of different approaches, objectifying the performance and working towards a common understanding of the current state of the art. Finally, the Bauhaus Path Planning Challenge is presented, inviting submissions to a comparison based on this pipeline to collaborate on an objective ranking, available under https://uni-weimar.de/pathplanning.