The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B2-2020
12 Aug 2020
 | 12 Aug 2020


G. Forlani, F. Diotri, U. Morra di Cella, and R. Roncella

Keywords: UAV, GNSS-supported block orientation, Bundle Block Adjustment, camera calibration, accuracy

Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are established platforms for photogrammetric surveys in remote areas. They are lightweight, easy to operate and can allow access to remote sites otherwise difficult (or impossible) to be surveyed with other techniques. Very good accuracy can be obtained also with low-cost UAV platforms as far as a reliable ground control is provided. However, placing ground control points (GCP) in these contexts is time consuming and requires accessibility that, in some cases, can be troublesome. RTK-capable UAV platforms are now available at reasonable costs and can overcome most of these problems, requiring just few (or none at all) GCP and still obtaining accurate results. The paper will present a set of experiments performed in cooperation with ARPA VdA (the Environmental Protection Agency of Valle d’Aosta region, Italy) on a test site in the Italian Alps using a Dji Phantom 4 RTK platform. Its goals are: a) compare accuracies obtainable with different calibration procedures (pre- or on-the-job/self-calibration); b) evaluate the accuracy improvements using different number of GCP when the site allows for it; and c) compare alternative positioning modes for camera projection centres determination, (Network RTK, RTK, Post Processing Kinematic and Single Point Positioning).