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Development of a small unmanned aerial system-mounted texel camera
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Paper Abstract

There is currently a growing need for scientifically accurate terrain maps of the earth. One way to develop terrain maps includes the use of LIDAR sensing and digital imagery. By fusing these sets of data, a textured digital elevation map (TDEM) can be created. The high cost of equipment and full-scale aircraft operation can be mitigated by creating a sensor package that includes both LIDAR and digital imaging that can be mounted on a low-cost, small, unmanned aerial system (sUAS). This sensor package is called a texel camera (TC) and is composed of commercial off the shelf sensors: LIDAR, digital camera, inertial navigation system, and computer processing unit. The TC is calibrated so that each data sample contains a LIDAR scan, registered digital image, aircraft attitude, position data, and timestamp. As the TC acquires data, a point cloud is created that describes the surface of the object. Each LIDAR measurement in a scan corresponds with a known pixel in the digital image. Fusing this data allows the formation of scientifically accurate TDEMs. The TC is a more cost-effective terrain mapping solution than current mobile and manual data collection methods. It is designed to fit in rotorcraft and fixedwing sUAS. Other advantages to the TC include adaptability with existing sUAS and the ability to map views from different perspectives.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11005, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXIV, 110050F (2 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2519149
Show Author Affiliations
Trevor Welch, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Calvin Coopmans, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Scott E. Budge, Utah State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11005:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXIV
Monte D. Turner; Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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