The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXVIII-1/C22
Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XXXVIII-1/C22, 131–136, 2011
Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XXXVIII-1/C22, 131–136, 2011

  06 Sep 2012

06 Sep 2012


M. Bláha, H. Eisenbeiss, D. Grimm, and P. Limpach M. Bláha et al.
  • Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

Keywords: UAV, Falcon 8, direct georeferencing, GPS, flight trajectory

Abstract. UAV systems have become an attractive data acquisition platform in emerging applications. As measuring instrument they extend the lineup of possible surveying methods in the field of geomatics. However, most of UAVs are equipped with low-cost navigation sensors such as GPS or INS, allowing a positioning accuracy of 3 to 5 m. As a result the acquired position- and orientation data fea- tures a low accuracy which implicates that it cannot be used in applications that require high precision data on cm-level (e.g. direct georeferencing). In this paper we will analyze the potential of differential post-processing of GPS data from UAV in order to im- prove the positioning accuracy for applications basing on direct georeferencing. Subsequently, the obtained results are compared and verified with a track of the octocopter carried out with a total station simultaneously to the GPS data acquisition. The results show that the differential post-processing essentially improved the accuracy of the Falcon position data. Thereby the average offset be- tween the data sets (GPS data, track) and the corresponding standard deviation is 0.82 m and 0.45 m, respectively. However, under ideal conditions it is even possible to improve this positioning accuracy to the cm-range. Furthermore, there are still several sources of error such as the offset between the GPS antenna of the Falcon 8 and the prism which is used for the track. Considering this fact there is further room for improvement regarding the here discussed positioning method.