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Influence of the Sun Position and Platform Orientation on the Quality of Imagery Obtained from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Department of Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry and Imagery Intelligence, Institute of Geospatial Engineering and Geodesy, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Military University of Technology, 01-476 Warsaw, Poland
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Remote Sens. 2020, 12(6), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12061040
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 14 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
Images acquired at a low altitude can be the source of accurate information about various environmental phenomena. Often, however, this information is distorted by various factors, so a correction of the images needs to be performed to recreate the actual reflective properties of the imaged area. Due to the low flight altitude, the correction of images from UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) is usually limited to noise reduction and detector errors. The article shows the influence of the Sun position and platform deviation angles on the quality of images obtained by UAVs. Tilting the camera placed on an unmanned platform leads to incorrect exposures of imagery, and the order of this distortion depends on the position of the Sun during imaging. An image can be considered in three-dimensional space, where the x and y coordinates determine the position of the pixel and the third dimension determines its exposure. This assumption is the basis for the proposed method of image exposure compensation. A three-dimensional transformation by rotation is used to determine the adjustment matrix to correct the image quality. The adjustments depend on the angles of the platform and the difference between the direction of flight and the position of the Sun. An additional factor regulates the value of the adjustment depending on the ratio of the pitch and roll angles. The experiments were carried out for two sets of data obtained with different unmanned systems. The correction method used can improve the block exposure by up to 60%. The method gives the best results for simple systems, not equipped with lighting compensation systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; Sun position; radiometric quality; solar correction Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; Sun position; radiometric quality; solar correction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sekrecka, A.; Wierzbicki, D.; Kedzierski, M. Influence of the Sun Position and Platform Orientation on the Quality of Imagery Obtained from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1040.

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