BENCHMARKING THE OPTICAL RESOLVING POWER OF UAV BASED CAMERA SYSTEMS
UAV based imaging and 3D object point generation is an established technology. Some of the UAV users try to address (very) highaccuracy applications, i.e. inspection or monitoring scenarios. In order to guarantee such level of detail and accuracy high resolving imaging systems are mandatory. Furthermore, image quality considerably impacts photogrammetric processing, as the tie point transfer, mandatory for forming the block geometry, fully relies on the radiometric quality of images. Thus, empirical testing of radiometric camera performance is an important issue, in addition to standard (geometric) calibration, which normally is covered primarily. Within this paper the resolving power of ten different camera/lens installations has been investigated. Selected systems represent different camera classes, like DSLRs, system cameras, larger format cameras and proprietary systems. As the systems have been tested in wellcontrolled laboratory conditions and objective quality measures have been derived, individual performance can be compared directly, thus representing a first benchmark on radiometric performance of UAV cameras. The results have shown, that not only the selection of appropriate lens and camera body has an impact, in addition the image pre-processing, i.e. the use of a specific debayering method, significantly influences the final resolving power.