Next Article in Journal
A Hybrid Communication Scheme for Efficient and Low-Cost Deployment of Future Flying Ad-Hoc Network (FANET)
Next Article in Special Issue
UAV-Derived Himalayan Topography: Hazard Assessments and Comparison with Global DEM Products
Previous Article in Journal
UAVs for Hydrologic Scopes: Application of a Low-Cost UAV to Estimate Surface Water Velocity by Using Three Different Image-Based Methods
Previous Article in Special Issue
Using Digital Surface Models from UAS Imagery of Fire Damaged Sphagnum Peatlands for Monitoring and Hydrological Restoration
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Drones 2019, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones3010015

Assessing the Accuracy of Digital Surface Models Derived from Optical Imagery Acquired with Unmanned Aerial Systems

1
Dipartimento delle Culture Europee e del Mediterraneo, Architettura, Ambiente, Patrimoni Culturali (DiCEM), Università degli Studi della Basilicata, 75100 Matera, Italy
2
Institute of Aerospace Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Technicka 2, 61669 Brno, Czech Republic
3
Department GIS and Remote Sensing, Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 252 43 Pruhonice, Czech Republic
4
Politehnica University of Timisoara, Traian Lalescu 2A, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
5
Scuola di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, 85100 Potenza, Italy
6
ETSI Topografía, Geodesia y Cartografía, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28031 Madrid, Spain
7
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 27 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drones for Topographic Mapping)
  |  
PDF [3312 KB, uploaded 31 January 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) equipped with an optical camera are a cost-effective strategy for topographic surveys. These low-cost UASs can provide useful information for three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction even if they are equipped with a low-quality navigation system. To ensure the production of high-quality topographic models, careful consideration of the flight mode and proper distribution of ground control points are required. To this end, a commercial UAS was adopted to monitor a small earthen dam using different combinations of flight configurations and by adopting a variable number of ground control points (GCPs). The results highlight that optimization of both the choice and combination of flight plans can reduce the relative error of the 3D model to within two meters without the need to include GCPs. However, the use of GCPs greatly improved the quality of the topographic survey, reducing error to the order of a few centimeters. The combined use of images extracted from two flights, one with a camera mounted at nadir and the second with a 20° angle, was found to be beneficial for increasing the overall accuracy of the 3D model and especially the vertical precision. View Full-Text
Keywords: topographic surveys; planar and vertical precision; unmanned aerial systems (UASs); digital surface models (DSMs) topographic surveys; planar and vertical precision; unmanned aerial systems (UASs); digital surface models (DSMs)
Figures

Graphical abstract

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Manfreda, S.; Dvorak, P.; Mullerova, J.; Herban, S.; Vuono, P.; Arranz Justel, J.J.; Perks, M. Assessing the Accuracy of Digital Surface Models Derived from Optical Imagery Acquired with Unmanned Aerial Systems. Drones 2019, 3, 15.

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 Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Drones EISSN 2504-446X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top