Special Issue "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Engineering Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Francesco Nex
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE, Enschede, The Netherlands
Interests: geometric and radiometric sensors; sensor fusion; calibration of imageries; signal/image processing; mission planning; navigation and position/orientation; machine learning; simultaneous localization and mapping; regulations and economic impact; agriculture; geosciences; urban area; architecture; monitoring/change detection; education
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Dr. Daniele Giordan
Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, National Research Council, 10135 Torino, Italy
Interests: geometric and radiometric sensors; sensor fusion; mission planning; navigation and position/orientation; geosciences; natural hazards; monitoring/change detection
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ewelina Rupnik
Website
Guest Editor
Univ. Paris-Est, LaSTIG ACTE, IGN, ENSG, 94160 Saint-Mande, France
Interests: image orientation and calibration; sensor fusion; dense image matching; metrology; mobile mapping; geoscience
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has boomed in the last decade, making these flying platforms an instrument for everyday data acquisition in different applications ranging from advanced autonomous navigation to monitoring of environmental parameters. Their flexibility and (relatively) limited costs have made them a valid alternative to traditional measurement techniques, such as land surveying or terrestrial and airborne acquisitions. This has been reflected by the incredible number of contributions in different scientific communities dealing with the use of UAVs.

This Special Issue aims at collecting the most recent developments in the use of UAVs in Geomatics. We welcome submissions dealing with different aspects of the scientific developments in this field, including algorithmic and hardware innovations as well as new methodological best practices. Studies conducted in adjacent domains, such robotics and computer vision, and having the navigation, mapping, and understanding of real world as a main topic are also welcome in this Special Issue.

A list of the relevant topics relevant for this Special Issue includes but is not limited to:

  • Image orientation and accurate georeferencing;
  • Autonomous navigation and obstacle sense and avoidance;
  • Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and visual odometry;
  • 3D reconstruction from images and laser sensors;
  • 2D and 3D mapping with UAV data;
  • Semantic scene understanding from UAV images and videos;
  • On board sensors fusion;
  • Integration of UAV data with other data sources (LiDAR, airborne, satellite, SAR, etc.);
  • New platforms, payloads and instruments for Geomatics;
  • Online and real time processing/collaborative and fleet of UAVs applied to Geomatics and Remote Sensing’
  • Emerging applications such as the use of UAV for: Search & Rescue, precision farming, natural hazards and environmental monitoring and mapping, change detection, infrastructure monitoring, etc.;
  • Technological challenges and new applications of UAVs;
  • UAV Regulations.

This Special Issue will also feature selected papers from the UAV-g 2019 conference and the EGU 2019 session on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Geosciences. Authors wishing to have their work considered for this issue, including those not able to present at the conference, should contact the Guest Editors.

Dr. Francesco Nex
Dr. Daniele Giordan
Dr. Ewelina Rupnik
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Remote Monitoring of Floating Covers Using UAV Photogrammetry
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(7), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12071118 - 01 Apr 2020
Abstract
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is commonly the material of choice for covered anaerobic lagoons (CAL) at wastewater treatment plants. The membrane floats on the wastewater, and hence is called a “floating cover”, and is used for odour control and to harvest the methane-rich biogas [...] Read more.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is commonly the material of choice for covered anaerobic lagoons (CAL) at wastewater treatment plants. The membrane floats on the wastewater, and hence is called a “floating cover”, and is used for odour control and to harvest the methane-rich biogas as a renewable resource to generate electricity. The floating cover is an expensive and high-value asset that demands an efficient methodology for the determination of a set of engineering quantities for structural integrity assessment. Given the dynamics of the anaerobic activities under the floating cover, the state of deformation of the floating cover is an engineering measurand that is useful for its structural health assessment. A non-contact measurement strategy is preferred as it offers practical and safety-related benefits over other methods. In collaboration with Melbourne Water Corporation (MWC), an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) assisted photogrammetry approach was developed to address this need. Following the definition of the appropriate flight parameters required to quantify the state of deformation of the cover, a series of periodic flights were operated over the very large floating covers at MWC’s Western Treatment Plant (WTP) at Werribee, Victoria, Australia. This paper aims to demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of this inspection technique to determine the state of deformation of the floating covers measured over a ten-month period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics)
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Open AccessArticle
UAV and Structure from Motion Approach to Monitor the Maierato Landslide Evolution
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(6), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12061039 - 24 Mar 2020
Abstract
In February 2010 a large landslide affected the Maierato municipality (Calabria, Italy). The landslide, mainly caused by a period of prolonged and intense rainfalls, produced a mass displacement of about 5 million m³ and several damages to farmlands, houses and infrastructures. In the [...] Read more.
In February 2010 a large landslide affected the Maierato municipality (Calabria, Italy). The landslide, mainly caused by a period of prolonged and intense rainfalls, produced a mass displacement of about 5 million m³ and several damages to farmlands, houses and infrastructures. In the aftermath several conventional monitoring actions were carried out. In the current post emergency phase, the monitoring was resumed by carrying out unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) flights in order to describe the recent behavior of the landslide and to assess residual risk. Thanks to the potentialities of the structure from motion algorithms and the availability of post emergency reconnaissance photos and a previous 3D dataset, the three-dimensional evolution of the area was computed. Moreover, an experimental multispectral flight was carried out and its results supported the interpretation of local phenomena. The dataset allowed to quantify the elevation losses and raises in several peculiar sectors of the landslide. The obtained results confirm that the UAV monitoring and the structure from motion approach can effectively contribute to manage residual risk in the medium and long term within an integrated geotechnical monitoring network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Simulation and Analysis of Photogrammetric UAV Image Blocks—Influence of Camera Calibration Error
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12010022 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are increasingly used for topographic mapping. The camera calibration for UAV image blocks can be performed a priori or during the bundle block adjustment (self-calibration). For an area of interest with flat scene and corridor configuration, the focal length [...] Read more.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are increasingly used for topographic mapping. The camera calibration for UAV image blocks can be performed a priori or during the bundle block adjustment (self-calibration). For an area of interest with flat scene and corridor configuration, the focal length of camera is highly correlated with the height of the camera. Furthermore, systematic errors of camera calibration accumulate on the longer dimension and cause deformation. Therefore, special precautions must be taken when estimating camera calibration parameters. In order to better investigate the impact of camera calibration errors, a synthetic, error-free aerial image block is generated to simulate several issues of interest. Firstly, the erroneous focal length in the case of camera pre-calibration is studied. Nadir images are not able to prevent camera poses from drifting to compensate for the erroneous focal length, whereas the inclusion of oblique images brings significant improvement. Secondly, the case where the focal length varies gradually (e.g., when the camera subject to temperature changes) is investigated. The neglect of this phenomenon can substantially degrade the 3D measurement accuracy. Different flight configurations and flight orders are analyzed, the combination of oblique and nadir images shows better performance. At last, the rolling shutter effect is investigated. The influence of camera rotational motion on the final accuracy is negligible compared to that of the translational motion. The acquisition configurations investigated are not able to mitigate the degradation introduced by the rolling shutter effect. Other solutions such as correcting image measurements or including camera motion parameters in the bundle block adjustment should be exploited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics)
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