Analysis of Point Cloud Generation from UAS Images
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) allow for the collection of low altitude aerial images, along with other geospatial information from a variety of companion sensors. The images can then be processed using sophisticated algorithms from the Computer Vision (CV) field, guided by the traditional and established procedures from photogrammetry. Based on highly overlapped images, new software packages which were specifically developed for UAS technology can easily create ground models, such as Point Clouds (PC), Digital Surface Model (DSM), orthoimages, etc. The goal of this study is to compare the performance of three different software packages, focusing on the accuracy of the 3D products they produce. Using a Nikon D800 camera installed on an ocotocopter UAS platform, images were collected during subsequent field tests conducted over the Olentangy River, north from the Ohio State University campus. Two areas around bike bridges on the Olentangy River Trail were selected because of the challenge the packages would have in creating accurate products; matching pixels over the river and dense canopy on the shore presents difficult scenarios to model. Ground Control Points (GCP) were gathered at each site to tie the models to a local coordinate system and help assess the absolute accuracy for each package. In addition, the models were also relatively compared to each other using their PCs.