RELATIVE RADIOMETRIC CALIBRATION OF UAV IMAGES FOR IMAGE MOSAICKING
Keywords: UAV, Radiometric Calibration, Mosaic, Image Blending, Gain Compensation
Abstract. Since UAV images are taken at a low altitude, compared to satellite or aerial images, they usually have narrow ground coverage. In order to use them over a large area of interest, it is essential to mosaic them into a large image. In addition, UAV images may have different brightness values at the same ground locations according to different weather conditions and relative position between sun and sensor at the time of photographing. To mosaic a large number of UAV images, it is essential to calibrate different brightness values through a relative radiometric calibration method. In this paper, we propose a relative radiometric calibration method of UAV images capable of reducing over-calibration and minimizing error transfers during image mosaicking. We applied a gain compensation technique to minimize the effect of exposure difference when generating mosaic image. We also applied an image blending technique to remove seamlines among adjacent images to merge. As a result, smooth mosaic images were generated without any noticeable brightness difference around seamlines. For quantitative validation, differences in brightness values in overlapping areas were calculated. The differences have been decreased after applying the proposed method. The results indicated that the proposed method could generate a natural mosaic image by correcting differences in brightness values and removing seamlines of UAV images. Our method has an advantage of being able to calibrate differences in brightness values only with DN values.