On Sensor Georeferencing and Point Cloud Generation with sUAS

Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, Charles K. Toth, Grzegorz Józków

Abstract: The Ohio State University (OSU) Satellite Positioning and Inertial Navigation (SPIN) Lab has been involved in researching low cost small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) technology. Performance improvements of MEMS IMU sensors as well as growing miniaturization of LiDAR sensors is expected to advance the use of sUAS technology in mapping, precision farming, land administration, flood mapping, traffic applications, etc., and, in the future, the quality of sUAS mapping products will compete with that obtained by high-end airborne systems. The goal of the study presented here is to exploit the sensing technology using sUAS platforms with a variety of sensor configurations, including optical cameras, GPS receivers, laser scanners, IMU, etc., to create accurate survey and engineering grade 3D digital elevation and digital terrain models (DEM, DTM). As compared to typical airborne mapping systems, sUAS technology used for mapping has several advantages and disadvantages. The unquestionable benefits of sUAS are the much lower equipment and logistics costs, simple operation, and more flexible flight patterns; although, the regulations regarding integrating sUAS to airspace vary greatly from country to country, and it is not fully implemented in the US. Low cost, however, implicates not only a small sensor size and low weight, but also, generally, a lower performance that may negatively impact the accuracy of sUAS data and, consequently, any derived mapping products. In this study, the performance of both the georeferencing and sensing components are investigated.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2015 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 20 - 23, 2015
Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 839 - 848
Cite this article: Grejner-Brzezinska, Dorota A., Toth, Charles K., Józków, Grzegorz, "On Sensor Georeferencing and Point Cloud Generation with sUAS," Proceedings of the ION 2015 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2015, pp. 839-848.
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