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Proceedings Paper

Application and capabilities of lidar from small UAV
Author(s): Michael Tulldahl; Håkan Larsson; Gustav Tolt; Fredrik Bissmarck; Christina Grönwall; Jonas Nordlöf
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of this study is to present and evaluate the benefit and capabilities of high resolution 3D data from unmanned aircraft, especially in conditions where existing methods (passive imaging, 3D photogrammetry) have limited capability. Examples of applications are detection of obscured objects under vegetation, change detection, detection in dark or shadowed environments, and an immediate geometric documentation of an area of interest. Applications are exemplified with experimental data from our small UAV test platform 3DUAV with an integrated rotating laser scanner, and with ground truth data collected with a terrestrial laser scanner. We process lidar data combined with inertial navigation system (INS) data for generation of a highly accurate point cloud. The combination of INS and lidar data is achieved in a dynamic calibration process that compensates for the navigation errors from the lowcost and light-weight MEMS based (microelectromechanical systems) INS. This system allows for studies of the whole data collection-processing-application chain and also serves as a platform for further development. We evaluate the applications in relation to system aspects such as survey time, resolution and target detection capabilities. Our results indicate that several target detection/classification scenarios are feasible within reasonable survey times from a few minutes (cars, persons and larger objects) to about 30 minutes for detection and possibly recognition of smaller targets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2016
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9832, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXI, 98320V (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2224258
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Tulldahl, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Håkan Larsson, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Gustav Tolt, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Fredrik Bissmarck, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Christina Grönwall, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)
Jonas Nordlöf, FOI-Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9832:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXI
Monte D. Turner; Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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