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Proceedings Paper

Detecting changes in terrain using unmanned aerial vehicles
Author(s): Zia-ur Rahman; Glenn D. Hines; Michael J. Logan
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used for more than the thrill they bring to model airplane enthusiasts. Their flexibility and low cost have made them a viable option for low-altitude reconnaissance. In a recent effort, we acquired video data from a small UAV during several passes over the same flight path. The objective of the exercise was to determine if objects had been added to the terrain along the flight path between flight passes. Several issues accrue to this simple-sounding problem: (1) lighting variations may cause false detection of objects because of changes in shadow orientation and strength between passes; (2) variations in the flight path due to wind-speed, and heading change may cause misalignment of gross features making the task of detecting changes between the frames very difficult; and (3) changes in the aircraft orientation and altitude lead to a change in size of the features from frame-to-frame making a comparison difficult. In this paper, we discuss our efforts to perform this change detection, and the lessons that we learned from this exercise.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5817, Visual Information Processing XIV, (25 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.602813
Show Author Affiliations
Zia-ur Rahman, College of William & Mary (United States)
Glenn D. Hines, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Michael J. Logan, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5817:
Visual Information Processing XIV
Zia-ur Rahman; Robert A. Schowengerdt; Stephen E. Reichenbach, Editor(s)

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