25 May 2005 Detecting changes in terrain using unmanned aerial vehicles
Author Affiliations +
Proceedings Volume 5817, Visual Information Processing XIV; (2005); doi: 10.1117/12.602813
Event: Defense and Security, 2005, Orlando, Florida, United States
In recent years, small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used for more than the thrill they bring to model airplane enthusiasts. Their flexibility and low cost have made them a viable option for low-altitude reconnaissance. In a recent effort, we acquired video data from a small UAV during several passes over the same flight path. The objective of the exercise was to determine if objects had been added to the terrain along the flight path between flight passes. Several issues accrue to this simple-sounding problem: (1) lighting variations may cause false detection of objects because of changes in shadow orientation and strength between passes; (2) variations in the flight path due to wind-speed, and heading change may cause misalignment of gross features making the task of detecting changes between the frames very difficult; and (3) changes in the aircraft orientation and altitude lead to a change in size of the features from frame-to-frame making a comparison difficult. In this paper, we discuss our efforts to perform this change detection, and the lessons that we learned from this exercise.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Zia-ur Rahman, Glenn D. Hines, Michael J. Logan, "Detecting changes in terrain using unmanned aerial vehicles", Proc. SPIE 5817, Visual Information Processing XIV, (25 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.602813; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.602813

Unmanned aerial vehicles



Global Positioning System

Image processing

Data acquisition

Light sources and illumination


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