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Generation of TIR-attributed 3D Point Clouds from UAV-based Thermal Imagery


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This contribution investigates the possibility to efficiently reconstruct 3D scene geometry purely from thermal image data by using structure from motion techniques. The images are acquired by a low-cost, lightweight thermal camera mounted on an octocopter platform. The result is a 3D point cloud containing geometric informationplus thermal attributes. Such a dataset may be valuable for build- ing energy evaluation, where existing geospatial data may thus be enriched with thermal information. The paper gives an overview of the automatic data processing chain and also considers aspects of geometric thermal camera calibration. For an extensive practical test, a raster pattern was flown, capturing 15 000 thermal images of the façades of a large building complex. To validate the geometric quality of the results, the point cloud was aligned to a terres- trial laser scanning 3D model of the scene. With a precision in the order of 25 mm, related to an object dimensionof 50 m × 50 m × 20 m, the analysis of the model differences substantiated the geometric poten tial of thermal cameras in SfM tools.

Zusammenfassung: Generierung von thermalen 3D-Punktwolken aus UAV-gestützten Wärmebildkameradaten. Diese Arbeit untersucht das Potential von einzig auf Wärmebilddaten basierenden Structure-from-Motion Ansätzen zur effizient en 3 D-Objektrekonstruktion. Getragen von einer Oktokopter-Flugroboterplattform wurden die Bilddaten mit einem preiswerten, kompakten thermischen Sensor aufgenommen. Zusätzlich zur Raumkoordinate enthält die resultierende 3D- Punktwolke eine thermische Information für jeden Objektpunkt. Vor allem im Bereich der energetischen Bewertung von Gebäuden kann diese Kombination von Geometrie und Thermografiev on Interesse sein. Im Beitrag behandelt werden neben der Prozesskette zur automatischen Daten verarbeitung auch Aspektederg eometrischen Kalibrierung einer Wärmebildkamera. Im Rahmen eines umfangreichen praktischen Experiments wurden die Fassaden eines weitl äufigen Gebäudekomplexes raster förmig abgeflogen und ca. 15.000 Wärme bilder aufgenommen. Die Registrierung der erzeugte n 3 D-Punktwolke zu einem terrestrischen Laserscannermodell e rmöglichte die Validie rung der geometrischen Qualiätat der Ergebnisse. Mit 3D-Objektkoordinatenabweichungen in der Größenordnung von 25 mm bezogen auf eine Objektgröße von 50 m × 50 m × 20 m konnte das geometrische Potential in der Auswertung von Wärmebildkameradatenmit SfM-Werkzeugen belegt werden.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Photogrammetrie - Fernerkundung - Geoinformation (PFG) is an international scholarly journal covering the progress and application of photogrammetric methods, remote sensing technology and the intricately connected field of geoinformation processing.

    Papers published in PFG highlight new developments and applications of these technologies in practice. The journal hence addresses both researchers and student of these disciplines at academic institutions and universities and the downstream users in both the private sector and public administration.

    PFG places special editorial emphasis on the communication of new methodologies in data acquisition, new approaches to optimized processing and interpretation of all types of data which were acquired by photogrammetric methods, remote sensing, image processing and the computer-aided interpretation of such data in general.

    PFG is the official journal of the German Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
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