High-Res Digital Surface Modeling using Fixed-Wing UAV-based Photogrammetry

TitleHigh-Res Digital Surface Modeling using Fixed-Wing UAV-based Photogrammetry
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsAnders, Niels, Rens Masselink, Saskia Keesstra, and Juha Suomalainen
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference NameGeomorphometry 2013
Date Published2013
Conference LocationNanjing, China
AbstractHigh-res multi-temporal digital terrain data is a potential valuable source for geomorphological research and/or monitoring studies, yet often difficult and costly to obtain. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide a promising and flexible platform for the acquisition of multi-temporal digital surface models (DSMs) and orthorectified airphotos. In this research we demonstrate preliminary results with UAV-based photogrammetry with a fixed-wing aircraft, and we assess the quality of derived DSMs and terrain properties in a geomorphologically active agricultural catchment near Pamplona, N-Spain. In 4 sequential flights 200 ha was captured at 3cm ground sample distance (GSD ~ 185m flight altitude) with which a 12cm DSM was created. Subsequently, a single flight at 90m altitude enabled creating a DSM of 4cm spatial resolution of a subarea. Both datasets have been compared with respect to existing small rills and a superficial landslide. Results suggest that flying at 3cm GSD was found sufficient for identifying small-scale geomorphological activity. Small rills and tractor tracks which are potentially interesting for hydrological or hydrogeomorphological studies required smaller GSD. Absolute deviations with ground control points were relatively high, and future tests are required to increase vertical accuracy. Nevertheless, preliminary results show high potential of utilization of UAVs in different domains of geomorphological research.
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