DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A UAV BASED MAPPING SYSTEM FOR REMOTE SENSING AND SURVEYING APPLICATIONS
- Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany
Keywords: Direct georeferencing, UAV, RTK GPS, GPS Compass, IMU, Magnetometer, Camera synchronization
Abstract. In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have increasingly been used in various application areas, such as in the remote sensing or surveying. For these applications the UAV has to be equipped with a mapping sensor, which is mostly a camera. Furthermore, a georeferencing of the UAV platform and/or the acquired mapping data is required. The most efficient way to realize this georeferencing is the direct georeferencing, which is based on an onboard multi-sensor system. In recent decades, direct georeferencing systems have been researched and used extensively in airborne, ship and land vehicle applications. However, these systems cannot easily be adapted to UAV platforms, which is mainly due to weight and size limitations.
In this paper a direct georeferencing system for micro- and mini-sized UAVs is presented, which consists of a dual-frequency geodetic grade OEM GPS board, a low-cost single-frequency GPS chip, a tactical grade IMU and a magnetometer. To allow for cm-level position and sub-degree attitude accuracies, RTK GPS (real-time kinematic) and GPS attitude (GPS compass) determination algorithms are running on this system, as well as a GPS/IMU integration.
Beside the direct georeferencing, also the precise time synchronization of the camera, which acts as the main sensor for mobile mapping applications, and the calibration of the lever arm between the camera reference point and the direct georeferencing reference point are explained in this paper. Especially the high accurate time synchronization of the camera is very important, to still allow for high surveying accuracies, when the images are taken during the motion of the UAV.
Results of flight tests demonstrate that the developed system, the camera synchronization and the lever arm calibration make directly georeferenced UAV based single point measurements possible, which have cm-level accuracies on the ground.