THERMAL AND OPTICAL DATA FUSION SUPPORTING BUILT HERITAGE ANALYSES
Keywords: Thermal data, UAV photogrammetry, Close-range photogrammetry, Co-registration, Data fusion
Abstract. The recent developments of passive sensors techniques, that have been able to take advantage of the technological innovations related to sensors technical features, sensor calibration, the use of UAV systems (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the integration of image matching techniques and SfM (Structure from Motion) algorithms, enable to exploit both thermal and optical data in multi-disciplinary projects. This synergy boost the application of Infrared Thermography (IRT) to new application domains, since the capability to provide thematic information of the analysed objects benefits from the typical advantages of data georeferencing and metric accuracy, being able to compare results investigating different phenomena.
This paper presents a research activity in terrestrial and aerial (UAV) applications, aimed at generating photogrammetric products with certified and controlled geometric and thematic accuracy even when the acquisitions of thermal data were not initially designed for the photogrammetric process. The basic principle investigated and pursued is the processing of a photogrammetric block of images, including thermal IR and optical imagery, using the same reference system, which allows the use of co-registration algorithms. Such approach enabled the generation of radiance maps, orthoimagery and 3D models embedding the thermal information of the investigated surfaces, also known as texture mapping; these geospatial dataset are particularly useful in the context of the built Heritage documentation, characterised by complex analyses challenges that a perfect fit for investigations based on interdisciplinary approaches.