Next Article in Journal
Geometric, Environmental and Hardware Error Sources of a Ground-Based Interferometric Real-Aperture FMCW Radar System
Next Article in Special Issue
Evaluation of Fire Severity Indices Based on Pre- and Post-Fire Multispectral Imagery Sensed from UAV
Previous Article in Journal
Automatic Mapping of Thermokarst Landforms from Remote Sensing Images Using Deep Learning: A Case Study in the Northeastern Tibetan Plateau
Previous Article in Special Issue
Freshwater Fish Habitat Complexity Mapping Using Above and Underwater Structure-From-Motion Photogrammetry
Open AccessArticle

A Novel Tilt Correction Technique for Irradiance Sensors and Spectrometers On-Board Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI), National Land Survey of Finland (NLS), Geodeetinrinne 2, 02430 Masala, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 2068; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10122068
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 18 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drone Remote Sensing)
In unstable atmospheric conditions, using on-board irradiance sensors is one of the only robust methods to convert unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based optical remote sensing data to reflectance factors. Normally, such sensors experience significant errors due to tilting of the UAV, if not installed on a stabilizing gimbal. Unfortunately, such gimbals of sufficient accuracy are heavy, cumbersome, and cannot be installed on all UAV platforms. In this paper, we present the FGI Aerial Image Reference System (FGI AIRS) developed at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) and a novel method for optical and mathematical tilt correction of the irradiance measurements. The FGI AIRS is a sensor unit for UAVs that provides the irradiance spectrum, Real Time Kinematic (RTK)/Post Processed Kinematic (PPK) GNSS position, and orientation for the attached cameras. The FGI AIRS processes the reference data in real time for each acquired image and can send it to an on-board or on-cloud processing unit. The novel correction method is based on three RGB photodiodes that are tilted 10° in opposite directions. These photodiodes sample the irradiance readings at different sensor tilts, from which reading of a virtual horizontal irradiance sensor is calculated. The FGI AIRS was tested, and the method was shown to allow on-board measurement of irradiance at an accuracy better than ±0.8% at UAV tilts up to 10° and ±1.2% at tilts up to 15°. In addition, the accuracy of FGI AIRS to produce reflectance-factor-calibrated aerial images was compared against the traditional methods. In the unstable weather conditions of the experiment, both the FGI AIRS and the on-ground spectrometer were able to produce radiometrically accurate and visually pleasing orthomosaics, while the reflectance reference panels and the on-board irradiance sensor without stabilization or tilt correction both failed to do so. The authors recommend the implementation of the proposed tilt correction method in all future UAV irradiance sensors if they are not to be installed on a gimbal. View Full-Text
Keywords: drone; unmanned aerial vehicle; UAV; irradiance; reflectance factor; tilt stabilization drone; unmanned aerial vehicle; UAV; irradiance; reflectance factor; tilt stabilization
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Suomalainen, J.; Hakala, T.; Alves de Oliveira, R.; Markelin, L.; Viljanen, N.; Näsi, R.; Honkavaara, E. A Novel Tilt Correction Technique for Irradiance Sensors and Spectrometers On-Board Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 2068.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop