EVALUATION OF AIRBORNE IMAGE VELOCIMETRY APPROACHES USING LOW-COST UAVS IN RIVERINE ENVIRONMENTS
- 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICA), Politecnico di Milano, Italy
- 2Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Keywords: AIV, PIV, UAV, river surface velocity, image-based velocimetry, BASESURV, Fudaa-LSPIV, RIVeR
Abstract. Traditional flow velocity measurements in natural environments require contact with the fluid and are usually costly, time-consuming and, sometimes, even dangerous. Particle Image Velocimetry allows the flow velocity field to be remotely characterized from the shift of intensity patterns of sub-image areas in at least two video frames with a known time lag. Recently, Airborne Image Velocimetry has enabled the surface velocity field of large-scale water bodies to be determined by applying Particle Image Velocimetry on videos recorded by cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles. This work presents a comparison of three Airborne Image Velocimetry approaches: BASESURV, Fudaa-LSPIV and RIVeR. For the evaluation, two nadiral videos were acquired with a low-cost quadcopter. The first was recorded under low flow and seeded conditions, the second during a flood event. According to the results obtained, BASESURV is an accurate and complete research oriented approach but it is time-consuming and neither a graphical interface nor documentation are yet provided. Fudaa-LSPIV is a well-developed software package, with a user-friendly graphical interface and good documentation. However it lacks some features and the source code is closed. RIVeR may be suitable for real time monitoring thanks to the rectification of velocity vectors only. Overall, all the codes are found to be effective in performing Airborne Image Velocimetry in riverine environments.