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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 2017; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10122017

3D Calibration Test-Field for Digital Cameras Mounted on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

1
Department of Terrestrial Measurements and Cadastre, Faculty of Hydrotechnical Engineering, Geodesy and Environmental Engineering, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi, Professor Dimitrie Mangeron Boulevard 67, Iasi 700050, Romania
2
Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Vienna University of Technology, Gußhausstraße 27–29, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 1 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract

Due to the large number of technological developments in recent years, UAS systems are now used for monitoring purposes and in projects with high precision demand, such as 3D model-based creation of dams, reservoirs, historical monuments etc. These unmanned systems are usually equipped with an automatic pilot device and a digital camera (photo/video, multispectral, Near Infrared etc.), of which the lens has distortions; but this can be determined in a calibration process. Currently, a method of “self-calibration” is used for the calibration of the digital cameras mounted on UASs, but, by using the method of calibration based on a 3D calibration object, the accuracy is improved in comparison with other methods. Thus, this paper has the objective of establishing a 3D calibration field for the digital cameras mounted on UASs in terms of accuracy and robustness, being the largest reported publication to date. In order to test the proposed calibration field, a digital camera mounted on a low-cost UAS was calibrated at three different heights: 23 m, 28 m, and 35 m, using two configurations for image acquisition. Then, a comparison was made between the residuals obtained for a number of 100 Check Points (CPs) using self-calibration and test-field calibration, while the number of Ground Control Points (GCPs) variedand the heights were interchanged. Additionally, the parameters where tested on an oblique flight done 2 years before calibration, in manual mode at a medium altitude of 28 m height. For all tests done in the case of the double grid nadiral flight, the parameters calculated with the proposed 3D field improved the results by more than 50% when using the optimum and a large number of GCPs, and in all analyzed cases with 75% to 95% when using a minimum of 3 GCP. In this context, it is necessary to conduct accurate calibration in order to increase the accuracy of the UAS projects, and also to reduce field measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: UAS; 3D calibration test-field; acuracy assessment UAS; 3D calibration test-field; acuracy assessment
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Oniga, V.-E.; Pfeifer, N.; Loghin, A.-M. 3D Calibration Test-Field for Digital Cameras Mounted on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 2017.

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