Performance of a real-time sensor and processing system on a helicopter
A new optical real-time sensor system (4k system) on a helicopter is now ready to use for applications during disasters, mass events and traffic monitoring scenarios. The sensor was developed light-weighted, small with relatively cheap components in a pylon mounted sideward on a helicopter. The sensor architecture is finally a compromise between the required functionality, the development costs, the weight and the sensor size. Aboard processors are integrated in the 4k sensor system for orthophoto generation, for automatic traffic parameter extraction and for data downlinks. It is planned to add real-time processors for person detection and tracking, for DSM generation and for water detection. Equipped with the newest and most powerful off-the-shelf cameras available, a wide variety of viewing configurations with a frame rate of up to 12 Hz for the different applications is possible. Based on three cameras with 50 mm lenses which are looking in different directions, a maximal FOV of 104° is reachable; with 100 mm lenses a ground sampling distance of 3.5 cm is possible at a flight height of 500 m above ground.
In this paper, we present the first data sets and describe the technical components of the sensor. The effect of vibrations of the helicopter on the GNSS/IMU accuracy and on the 4k video quality is analysed. It can be shown, that if the helicopter hoovers the rolling shutter effect affects the 4k video quality drastically. The GNSS/IMU error is higher than the specified limit, which is mainly caused by the vibrations on the helicopter and the insufficient vibrational absorbers on the sensor board.