During the last ten years, the availability of images acquired from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been continuously increasing due to the improvements and economic success of flight and sensor systems. From our point of view, reliable and automatic image-based change detection may contribute to overcoming several challenging problems in military reconnaissance, civil security, and disaster management. Changes within a scene can be caused by functional activities, i.e., footprints or skid marks, excavations, or humidity penetration; these might be recognizable in aerial images, but are almost overlooked when change detection is executed manually. With respect to the circumstances, these kinds of changes may be an indication of sabotage, terroristic activity, or threatening natural disasters. Although image-based change detection is possible from both ground and aerial perspectives, in this paper we primarily address the latter. We have applied an extended approach to change detection as described by Saur and Kruger,1 and Saur et al.2 and have built upon the ideas of Saur and Bartelsen.3 The commercial simulation environment Virtual Battle Space 3 (VBS3) is used to simulate aerial "before" and "after" image acquisition concerning flight path, weather conditions and objects within the scene and to obtain synthetic videos. Video frames, which depict the same part of the scene, including "before" and "after" changes and not necessarily from the same perspective, are registered pixel-wise against each other by a photogrammetric concept, which is based on a homography. The pixel-wise registration is used to apply an automatic difference analysis, which, to a limited extent, is able to suppress typical errors caused by imprecise frame registration, sensor noise, vegetation and especially parallax effects. The primary concern of this paper is to seriously evaluate the possibilities and limitations of our current approach for image-based change detection with respect to the flight path, viewpoint change and parametrization. Hence, based on synthetic "before" and "after" videos of a simulated scene, we estimated the precision and recall of automatically detected changes. In addition and based on our approach, we illustrate the results showing the change detection in short, but real video sequences. Future work will improve the photogrammetric approach for frame registration, and extensive real video material, capable of change detection, will be acquired.
J. Bartelsen, G. Saur, and C. Teutsch, "Evaluation of experimental UAV video change detection," Proc. SPIE 9997, Target and Background Signatures II, 999708 (Presented at SPIE Security + Defence: September 26, 2016; Published: 24 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2246799.
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