The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B2-2021
28 Jun 2021
 | 28 Jun 2021


F. Ioli, L. Pinto, and F. Ferrario

Keywords: Assisted Aerial Triangulation, DGPS, UAV, direct photogrammetry, flight telemetry

Abstract. The possibility of equipping UAVs with lightweight GNSS receivers in order to estimate the camera position within a photogrammetric block allows for a reduction of the number of Ground Control Points (GCP), saving time during the field work and decreasing operational costs. Additionally, this makes it possible to build photogrammetric models even in morphologically complex areas or in emergency situations. This work is proposing a non-intrusive and low-cost procedure to retrieve the coordinates of the camera projection centre with decimetric accuracy. The method was designed and tested with the quadcopter DJI Matrice 210 V2 drone equipped with a DJI ZENMUSE X5S camera and an Emlid reach M, a low-cost, single-frequency (L1) GNSS receiver. GNSS observations are post-processed in PPK in order to obtain the UAV trajectory. Synchronization between the camera and the GNSS receiver is achieved by looking at the camera triggering timestamps in flight telemetry data, without requiring an electronic connection between camera and the GNSS that may be troublesome with commercial UAVs. Two surveys were carried out, respectively to calibrate and validate the procedure. The validation test evidenced the possibility of obtaining the coordinates of the camera projection centres with decimetric accuracy. The centre of projections can then be employed for GNSS-assisted aerial triangulation as input of the bundle block adjustment. Provided that at least one GCP is used, it is possible to reach centimetric accuracy on the ground.