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Registration and Fusion of UAV LiDAR System Sequence Images and Laser Point Clouds

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The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-mounted mobile LiDAR system (ULS) is widely used for geomatics owing to its efficient data acquisition and convenient operation. However, due to limited carrying capacity of a UAV, sensors integrated in the ULS should be small and lightweight, which results in decrease in the density of the collected scanning points. This affects registration between image data and point cloud data. To address this issue, the authors propose a method for registering and fusing ULS sequence images and laser point clouds, wherein they convert the problem of registering point cloud data and image data into a problem of matching feature points between the two images. First, a point cloud is selected to produce an intensity image. Subsequently, the corresponding feature points of the intensity image and the optical image are matched, and exterior orientation parameters are solved using a collinear equation based on image position and orientation. Finally, the sequence images are fused with the laser point cloud, based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) time index of the optical image, to generate a true color point cloud. The experimental results show the higher registration accuracy and fusion speed of the proposed method, thereby demonstrating its accuracy and effectiveness.
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Affiliations: College of Geomatics, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266000, China

Appeared or available online: July 15, 2020

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