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5 May 2017 Improved TDEM formation using fused ladar/digital imagery from a low-cost small UAV
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Formation of a Textured Digital Elevation Model (TDEM) has been useful in many applications in the fields of agriculture, disaster response, terrain analysis and more. Use of a low-cost small UAV system with a texel camera (fused lidar/digital imagery) can significantly reduce the cost compared to conventional aircraft-based methods. This paper reports continued work on this problem reported in a previous paper by Bybee and Budge, and reports improvements in performance. A UAV fitted with a texel camera is flown at a fixed height above the terrain and swaths of texel image data of the terrain below is taken continuously. Each texel swath has one or more lines of lidar data surrounded by a narrow strip of EO data. Texel swaths are taken such that there is some overlap from one swath to its adjacent swath. The GPS/IMU fitted on the camera also give coarse knowledge of attitude and position. Using this coarse knowledge and the information from the texel image, the error in the camera position and attitude is reduced which helps in producing an accurate TDEM. This paper reports improvements in the original work by using multiple lines of lidar data per swath. The final results are shown and analyzed for numerical accuracy.
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Bikalpa Khatiwada and Scott E. Budge "Improved TDEM formation using fused ladar/digital imagery from a low-cost small UAV", Proc. SPIE 10191, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XXII, 1019105 (5 May 2017);

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