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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 414; doi:10.3390/rs9050414

A Low Cost UWB Based Solution for Direct Georeferencing UAV Photogrammetry

Interdepartmental Research Center of Geomatics (CIRGEO), University of Padova, via dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
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Academic Editors: Farid Melgani, Francesco Nex, Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 January 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Trends in UAV Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Thanks to their flexibility and availability at reduced costs, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been recently used on a wide range of applications and conditions. Among these, they can play an important role in monitoring critical events (e.g., disaster monitoring) when the presence of humans close to the scene shall be avoided for safety reasons, in precision farming and surveying. Despite the very large number of possible applications, their usage is mainly limited by the availability of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) in the considered environment: indeed, GNSS is of fundamental importance in order to reduce positioning error derived by the drift of (low-cost) Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) internal sensors. In order to make the usage of UAVs possible even in critical environments (when GNSS is not available or not reliable, e.g., close to mountains or in city centers, close to high buildings), this paper considers the use of a low cost Ultra Wide-Band (UWB) system as the positioning method. Furthermore, assuming the use of a calibrated camera, UWB positioning is exploited to achieve metric reconstruction on a local coordinate system. Once the georeferenced position of at least three points (e.g., positions of three UWB devices) is known, then georeferencing can be obtained, as well. The proposed approach is validated on a specific case study, the reconstruction of the façade of a university building. Average error on 90 check points distributed over the building façade, obtained by georeferencing by means of the georeferenced positions of four UWB devices at fixed positions, is 0.29 m. For comparison, the average error obtained by using four ground control points is 0.18 m. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAV; photogrammetry; UWB; mobile mapping; positioning UAV; photogrammetry; UWB; mobile mapping; positioning
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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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Masiero, A.; Fissore, F.; Vettore, A. A Low Cost UWB Based Solution for Direct Georeferencing UAV Photogrammetry. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 414.

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