Mobile 3D mapping for surveying earthwork projects using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system

             

Mobile 3D mapping for surveying earthwork projects using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system

Abstract

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems as a data acquisition platform and as a measurement instrument are becoming attractive for many surveying applications in civil engineering. Their performance, however, is not well understood for these particular tasks. The scope of the presented work is the performance evaluation of a UAV system that was built to rapidly and autonomously acquire mobile three-dimensional (3D) mapping data. Details to the components of the UAV system (hardware and control software) are explained. A novel program for photogrammetric flight planning and its execution for the generation of 3D point clouds from digital mobile images is explained. A performance model for estimating the position error was developed and tested in several realistic construction environments. Test results are presented as they relate to large excavation and earth moving construction sites. The experiences with the developed UAV system are useful to researchers or practitioners in need for successfully adapting UAV technology for their application(s).

Keywords

  • Global positioning system (GPS);
  • Laser scanning;
  • Photogrammetry;
  • Robotic total station (RTS);
  • Robotic total station (RTS);
  • Airplane and helicopters;
  • Remotely piloted vehicles (RPV);
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems (UAS);
  • 3D range point cloud generation and mapping;
  • Autonomous vision-based infrastructure sensing;
  • Efficiency, productivity, and safety in geomatics and surveying

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