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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 423; doi:10.3390/rs9050423

3D Digitisation of Large-Scale Unstructured Great Wall Heritage Sites by a Small Unmanned Helicopter

1
Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen), Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China
2
Shanghai Institute of Space Power-Sources, Shanghai 200245, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Guoqing Zhou and Prasad S. Thenkabai
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
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Abstract

The ancient Great Wall of China has long suffered from damage due to natural factors and human activities. A small low-cost unmanned helicopter system with a laser scanner and a digital camera is developed to efficiently visualize the status of the huge Great Wall area. The goal of the system is to achieve 3D digitisation of the large-scale Great Wall using a combination of fly-hover-scan and flying-scan modes. However, pose uncertainties of the unmanned helicopter could cause mismatching among point clouds acquired by each hovering-scan. This problem would become more severe as the target area becomes larger and more unstructured. Therefore, a hierarchical optimization framework is proposed in this paper to achieve 3D digitisation of the large-scale unstructured Great Wall with unpredictable pose uncertainties of the unmanned helicopter. In this framework, different optimization methodologies are proposed for the fly-hover-scan and flying-scan modes, respectively, because different scan modes would result in different features of point clouds. Moreover, a user-friendly interface based on WebGL has been developed for 3D model visualization and comparison. Experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed framework for 3D digitisation of the Great Wall segments. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D digitisation; unstructured cultural heritage; large-scale; unmanned aerial vehicle; airborne laser scanning 3D digitisation; unstructured cultural heritage; large-scale; unmanned aerial vehicle; airborne laser scanning
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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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Deng, F.; Zhu, X.; Li, X.; Li, M. 3D Digitisation of Large-Scale Unstructured Great Wall Heritage Sites by a Small Unmanned Helicopter. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 423.

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