PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT OF INTEGRATED SENSOR ORIENTATION WITH A LOW-COST GNSS RECEIVER
Mapping with Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs whose weight does not exceed 5 kg) is gaining importance in applications such as corridor mapping, road and pipeline inspections, or mapping of large areas with homogeneous surface structure, e.g. forest or agricultural fields. In these challenging scenarios, integrated sensor orientation (ISO) improves effectiveness and accuracy. Furthermore, in block geometry configurations, this mode of operation allows mapping without ground control points (GCPs). Accurate camera positions are traditionally determined by carrier-phase GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning. However, such mode of positioning has strong requirements on receiver’s and antenna’s performance. In this article, we present a mapping project in which we employ a single-frequency, low-cost (< $100) GNSS receiver on a MAV. The performance of the low-cost receiver is assessed by comparing its trajectory with a reference trajectory obtained by a survey-grade, multi-frequency GNSS receiver. In addition, the camera positions derived from these two trajectories are used as observations in bundle adjustment (BA) projects and mapping accuracy is evaluated at check points (ChP). Several BA scenarios are considered with absolute and relative aerial position control. Additionally, the presented experiments show the possibility of BA to determine a camera-antenna spatial offset, so-called lever-arm.