The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B1-2022
30 May 2022
 | 30 May 2022


J. Suomalainen, R. A. Oliveira, T. Hakala, N. Koivumäki, L. Markelin, R. Näsi, and E. Honkavaara

Keywords: Irradiance, UAS, Drone, Tilt, Remote Sensing

Abstract. An accurate onboard irradiance measurement on drones is a requirement direct reflectance transformation of aerial images and remote sensing data without use of on-ground reference targets. One of the major error sources in onboard irradiance measurement is the effect of sensor tilt to the observed irradiances. In this paper/presentation, we will present an intercomparison of two methods: the FGI AIRS method and the Köppl method. Both methods require an irradiance sensor with good cosine response and IMU system providing accurate tilt angle for each irradiance measurement. Additionally to this, the AIRS method requires special hardware with multiple tilted irradiance sensors, which effectively allow interpolation of a virtual horizontal sensor. The Köppl method requires the irradiance sensor to be a spectral sensor, which allows the direct and diffuse fractions of irradiance spectrum to be deducted from shape of the measured spectrum using the spectral unmixing between direct and diffuse spectrum shapes. We present a field experiment where the AIRS sensor was flown in a typical mapping pattern flight and evaluate the tilt correction methods during it. During a fully sunny period of the flight, the standard deviations of the irradiances was ±6.4% for the uncorrected tilted irradiances, ±1.8% for the AIRS method, and ±2.0% for the Köppl method. The data shows that an accurate irradiance measurement onboard a drone is feasible using a well-calibrated irradiance sensor system and both methods are capable to produce quite similar results.