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Sensors 2012, 12(10), 12940-12963; doi:10.3390/s121012940
Article

Long Baseline Stereovision for Automatic Detection and Ranging of Moving Objects in the Night Sky

1,* , 1
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2
 and
3
Received: 13 August 2012 / Revised: 20 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 September 2012 / Published: 25 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

As the number of objects in Earth’s atmosphere and in low Earth orbit is continuously increasing; accurate surveillance of these objects has become important. This paper presents a generic, low cost sky surveillance system based on stereovision. Two cameras are placed 37 km apart and synchronized by a GPS-controlled external signal. The intrinsic camera parameters are calibrated before setup in the observation position, the translation vectors are determined from the GPS coordinates and the rotation matrices are continuously estimated using an original automatic calibration methodology based on following known stars. The moving objects in the sky are recognized as line segments in the long exposure images, using an automatic detection and classification algorithm based on image processing. The stereo correspondence is based on the epipolar geometry and is performed automatically using the image detection results. The resulting experimental system is able to automatically detect moving objects such as planes, meteors and Low Earth Orbit satellites, and measure their 3D position in an Earth-bound coordinate system.
Keywords: space surveillance; stereo vision; automatic calibration; object recognition space surveillance; stereo vision; automatic calibration; object recognition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Danescu, R.; Oniga, F.; Turcu, V.; Cristea, O. Long Baseline Stereovision for Automatic Detection and Ranging of Moving Objects in the Night Sky. Sensors 2012, 12, 12940-12963.

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