APPLICATION OF UAV SWARM SEMI-AUTONOMOUS SYSTEM FOR THE LINEAR PHOTOGRAMMETRIC SURVEY
Keywords: UAV, UAV swarm, Swarm Mapping, UAV Photogrammetry
Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are used as stand-alone systems for a variety of purposes from agriculture, and environmental monitoring through architecture, and construction to humanitarian missions. The advantage of UAV is high spatial and temporal resolution but on the other hand, the disadvantage is the small area of cover and time demanding data collection. As a result of technological advancements, the complexity of systems to unprecedented levels these disadvantages can be solved by UAV Swarm systems. A UAV Swarm system is defined as the utilization of more than one UAV that are cooperating together in a semi-autonomous or autonomous manner to achieve a common goal. There are numerous factors in play while designing a system as advanced as a UAV Swarm. In our experiment, we focused on the semi-autonomous concept of creating and deploying a UAV Swarm with three Small UAVs in master-slave architecture for high-resolution fine-scale mapping. We demonstrate the implementation of collective behaviour of UAV swarm for river bed mapping that considers all on-board systems, including high resolution georeferenced aerial photography and navigation using high accuracy GPS. The testing field for this study was a 13.3 ha linear area of Solani River in the Haridwar district of the state of Uttarakhand, India. Images were captured by all three UAVs (one leader and two followers) and 5 ground control points (GCP) were used for geo-referencing. Aerial Triangulation and Bundle Block adjustment were processed by photogrammetric software Pix4DMapper. This UAV swarm mapping concept generates standard accurate geospatial results of 1.24 cm GSD and RMS Error 0.023 meter. Assessing the proposed system's efficiency and accuracy after such processes are taken into account reduces the time and cost manifolds of the UAV surveying.