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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 441; doi:10.3390/rs9050441

Image Registration and Fusion of Visible and Infrared Integrated Camera for Medium-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing

1
Unmanned Systems Research Institute, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2
School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
3
School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
4
Collaborative Innovation Centre of Geospatial Technology, Wuhan 430000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Qi Wang, Nicolas H. Younan, Carlos López-Martínez, Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Learning to Understand Remote Sensing Images)

Abstract

This study proposes a novel method for image registration and fusion via commonly used visible light and infrared integrated cameras mounted on medium-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).The innovation of image registration lies in three aspects. First, it reveals how complex perspective transformation can be converted to simple scale transformation and translation transformation between two sensor images under long-distance and parallel imaging conditions. Second, with the introduction of metadata, a scale calculation algorithm is designed according to spatial geometry, and a coarse translation estimation algorithm is presented based on coordinate transformation. Third, the problem of non-strictly aligned edges in precise translation estimation is solved via edge–distance field transformation. A searching algorithm based on particle swarm optimization is introduced to improve efficiency. Additionally, a new image fusion algorithm is designed based on a pulse coupled neural network and nonsubsampled contourlet transform to meet the special requirements of preserving color information, adding infrared brightness information, improving spatial resolution, and highlighting target areas for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications. A medium-altitude UAV is employed to collect datasets. The result is promising, especially in applications that involve other medium-altitude or high-altitude UAVs with similar system structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: image registration; image fusion; UAV; metadata; visible light and infrared integrated camera image registration; image fusion; UAV; metadata; visible light and infrared integrated camera
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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

Li, H.; Ding, W.; Cao, X.; Liu, C. Image Registration and Fusion of Visible and Infrared Integrated Camera for Medium-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 441.

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