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, 177–182, 2011
Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XXXVIII-1/C22, 177–182, 2011

  06 Sep 2012

06 Sep 2012


J. Shi1,2, J. Wang2, and Y. Xu3 J. Shi et al.
  • 1School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
  • 2School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
  • 3Key Laboratory of Precise Engineering and Industry Surveying, State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan, China

Keywords: UAVs, Change Detection, GPS/INS, SIFT

Abstract. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been widely used to capture and down-link real-time videos/images. However, their role as a low-cost airborne platform for capturing high-resolution, geo-referenced still imagery has not been fully utilized. The images obtained from UAV are advantageous over remote sensing images as they can be obtained at a low cost and potentially no risk to human life. However, these images are distorted due to the noise generated by the rotary wings which limits the usefulness of such images. One potential application of such images is to detect changes between the images of the same area which are collected over time. Change detection is of widespread interest due to a large number of applications, including surveillance and civil infrastructure. Although UAVs can provide images with high resolution in a portable and easy way, such images only cover small parts of the entire field of interest and are often with high deformation. Until now, there is not much application of change detection for UAV images. Also the traditional pixel-based change detection method does not give satisfactory results for such images.

In this paper, we have proposed a novel object-based method for change detection using UAV images which can overcome the effect of deformation and can fully utilize the high resolution capability of UAV images. The developed method can be divided into five main blocks: pre-processing, image matching, image segmentation and feature extraction, change detection and accuracy evaluation. The pre-processing step is further divided into two sub-steps: the first sub-step is to geometrically correct the bi-temporal image based on the geo-reference information (GPS/INS) installed on the UAV system, and the second sub-step is the radiometric normalization using a histogram method. The image matching block uses the well-known scale-invariant feature transform (SIFT) algorithm to match the same areas in the images and then resample them. The image segmentation and feature extraction block is used to separate the images to different meaningful regions by the mean shift method, extract the textural features and contextual features (polygon,etc.) , Based on the features extracted above as well as the SIFT features of the area, the optimization result is achieved by considering the neighbourhood information .The proposed method is being tested by using multi-temporal images acquired by UAV. The results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach.