When geo-locating ground objects from a UAV, multiple views of the same object can lead to improved geo- location accuracy. Of equal importance to the location estimate, however, is the uncertainty estimate associated with that location. Standard methods for estimating uncertainty from multiple views generally assume that each view represents an independent measurement of the geo-location. Unfortunately, this assumption is often violated due to correlation between the location estimates. This correlation may occur due to the measurements coming from the same platform, meaning that the error in attitude or location may be correlated across time; or it may be due to external sources (such as GPS) having the same error in multiple aircraft. In either case, the geo-location estimates are not truly independent, leading to optimistic estimates of the geo-location uncertainty.
For distributed data fusion applications, correlation-agnostic fusion methods have been developed that can fuse data together regardless of how much correlation may be present between the two estimates. While the results are generally not as impressive as when correlation is perfectly known and taken into account, the fused uncertainty results are guaranteed to be conservative and an improvement on operating without fusion. In this paper, we apply a selection of these correlation-agnostic fusion techniques to the multi-view geo-location problem and analyze their effects on geo-location and predicted uncertainty accuracy. We find that significant benefits can be found from applying these correlation agnostic fusion effects, but that they vary greatly in how well they estimate their own uncertainty.
Clark N. Taylor and Paul O. Sundlie, "Correlation-agnostic fusion for improved uncertainty estimation in multi-view geo-location from UAVs," Proc. SPIE 10199, Geospatial Informatics, Fusion, and Motion Video Analytics VII, 101990A (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 12, 2017; Published: 1 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262166.
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