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Proceedings Paper

Vehicle tracking in wide area motion imagery from an airborne platform
Author(s): Adam W. M. van Eekeren; Jasper R. van Huis; Pieter T. Eendebak; Jan Baan
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Paper Abstract

Airborne platforms, such as UAV’s, with Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) sensors can cover multiple square kilometers and produce large amounts of video data. Analyzing all data for information need purposes becomes increasingly labor-intensive for an image analyst. Furthermore, the capacity of the datalink in operational areas may be inadequate to transfer all data to the ground station. Automatic detection and tracking of people and vehicles enables to send only the most relevant footage to the ground station and assists the image analysts in effective data searches. In this paper, we propose a method for detecting and tracking vehicles in high-resolution WAMI images from a moving airborne platform. For the vehicle detection we use a cascaded set of classifiers, using an Adaboost training algorithm on Haar features. This detector works on individual images and therefore does not depend on image motion stabilization. For the vehicle tracking we use a local template matching algorithm. This approach has two advantages. In the first place, it does not depend on image motion stabilization and it counters the inaccuracy of the GPS data that is embedded in the video data. In the second place, it can find matches when the vehicle detector would miss a certain detection. This results in long tracks even when the imagery is of low frame-rate. In order to minimize false detections, we also integrate height information from a 3D reconstruction that is created from the same images. By using the locations of buildings and roads, we are able to filter out false detections and increase the performance of the tracker. In this paper we show that the vehicle tracks can also be used to detect more complex events, such as traffic jams and fast moving vehicles. This enables the image analyst to do a faster and more effective search of the data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9648, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications XII; and Quantum Information Science and Technology, 96480I (13 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2196392
Show Author Affiliations
Adam W. M. van Eekeren, TNO (Netherlands)
Jasper R. van Huis, TNO (Netherlands)
Pieter T. Eendebak, TNO (Netherlands)
Jan Baan, TNO (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9648:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications XII; and Quantum Information Science and Technology
David A. Huckridge; Mark T. Gruneisen; Miloslav Dusek; Reinhard Ebert; John G. Rarity, Editor(s)

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