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An Augmented Reality Geo-Registration Method for Ground Target Localization from a Low-Cost UAV Platform

Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Netease Network Co. Ltd., Hangzhou 310052, China
The 61206 Troop, PLA, Beijing 100042, China
GIScience Research Group, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 368, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3739;
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 2 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Networks, Systems and Applications)
PDF [21582 KB, uploaded 2 November 2018]


This paper presents an augmented reality-based method for geo-registering videos from low-cost multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The goal of the proposed method is to conduct an accurate geo-registration and target localization on a UAV video stream. The geo-registration of video stream requires accurate attitude data. However, the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensors on most low-cost UAVs are not capable of being directly used for geo-registering the video. The magnetic compasses on UAVs are more vulnerable to the interferences in the working environment than the accelerometers. Thus the camera yaw error is the main sources of the registration error. In this research, to enhance the low accuracy attitude data from the onboard IMU, an extended Kalman Filter (EKF) model is used to merge Real Time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK GPS) data with the IMU data. In the merge process, the high accuracy RTK GPS data can be used to promote the accuracy and stability of the 3-axis body attitude data. A method of target localization based on the geo-registration model is proposed to determine the coordinates of the ground targets in the video. The proposed method uses a modified extended Kalman Filter to combine the data from RTK GPS and the IMU to improve the accuracy of the geo-registration and the localization result of the ground targets. The localization results are compared to the reference point coordinates from satellite image. The comparison indicates that the proposed method can provide practical geo-registration and target localization results. View Full-Text
Keywords: augmented reality; geo-registration; UAV; target localization; RTK GPS augmented reality; geo-registration; UAV; target localization; RTK GPS

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Ren, X.; Sun, M.; Jiang, C.; Liu, L.; Huang, W. An Augmented Reality Geo-Registration Method for Ground Target Localization from a Low-Cost UAV Platform. Sensors 2018, 18, 3739.

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