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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/rs8010026

Evolutionary View Planning for Optimized UAV Terrain Modeling in a Simulated Environment

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, Brigham Young University, 350 Clyde Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, Brigham Young University, 368 Clyde Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015

Abstract

This work demonstrates the use of genetic algorithms in optimized view planning for 3D reconstruction applications using small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The quality of UAV site models is currently highly dependent on manual pilot operations or grid-based automation solutions. When applied to 3D structures, these approaches can result in gaps in the total coverage or inconsistency in final model resolution. Genetic algorithms can effectively explore the search space to locate image positions that produce high quality models in terms of coverage and accuracy. A fitness function is defined, and optimization parameters are selected through semi-exhaustive search. A novel simulation environment for evaluating view plans is demonstrated using terrain generation software. The view planning algorithm is tested in two separate simulation cases: a water drainage structure and a reservoir levee, as representative samples of infrastructure monitoring. The optimized flight plan is compared against three alternate flight plans in each case. The optimized view plan is found to yield terrain models with up to 43% greater accuracy than a standard grid flight pattern, while maintaining comparable coverage and completeness. View Full-Text
Keywords: view planning; UAV; terrain mapping; structure-from-motion; genetic algorithm view planning; UAV; terrain mapping; structure-from-motion; genetic algorithm
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Martin, R.A.; Rojas, I.; Franke, K.; Hedengren, J.D. Evolutionary View Planning for Optimized UAV Terrain Modeling in a Simulated Environment. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 26.

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