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Forests 2017, 8(5), 151; doi:10.3390/f8050151

Accuracy of Photogrammetric UAV-Based Point Clouds under Conditions of Partially-Open Forest Canopy

Department of Forest management and Geodesy, Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, T.G. Masaryka 24, Zvolen 96053, Slovakia
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Academic Editors: Joanne C. White and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 30 April 2017
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Abstract

This study focuses on the horizontal and vertical accuracy of point-clouds based on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery. The DJI Phantom 3 Professional unmanned aerial vehicle and Agisoft PhotoScan Professional software were used for the evaluation. Three test sites with differing conditions (canopy openness, slope, terrain complexity, etc.) were used for comparison. The accuracy evaluation was aimed on positions of points placed on the ground. This is often disregarded under forest conditions as it is not possible to photogrammetrically reconstruct terrain that is covered by a fully-closed forest canopy. Therefore, such a measurement can only be conducted when there are gaps in the canopy or under leaf-off conditions in the case of deciduous forests. The reported sub-decimetre horizontal accuracy and vertical accuracy lower than 20 cm have proven that the method is applicable for survey, inventory, and various other tasks in forests. An analysis of ground control point (GCP) quantity and configuration showed that the quantity had only a minor effect on the accuracy in cases of plots with ~1-hectare area when using the aforementioned software. Therefore, methods increasing quality (precision, accuracy) of GCP positions should be preferred over the increase of quantity alone. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicle; unmanned aerial system; accuracy; forest; terrain; ground control points unmanned aerial vehicle; unmanned aerial system; accuracy; forest; terrain; ground control points
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Tomaštík, J.; Mokroš, M.; Saloň, Š.; Chudý, F.; Tunák, D. Accuracy of Photogrammetric UAV-Based Point Clouds under Conditions of Partially-Open Forest Canopy. Forests 2017, 8, 151.

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