The development of an UAV borne direct georeferenced photogrammetric platform for ground control point free applications

Kai Wei Chiang, Meng Lun Tsai, Chien Hsun Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


To facilitate applications such as environment detection or disaster monitoring, the development of rapid low cost systems for collecting near real time spatial information is very critical. Rapid spatial information collection has become an emerging trend for remote sensing and mapping applications. In this study, a fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)-based spatial information acquisition platform that can operate in Ground Control Point (GCP) free environments is developed and evaluated. The proposed UAV based photogrammetric platform has a Direct Georeferencing (DG) module that includes a low cost Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Inertial Navigation System (INS)/ Global Positioning System (GPS) integrated system. The DG module is able to provide GPS single frequency carrier phase measurements for differential processing to obtain sufficient positioning accuracy. All necessary calibration procedures are implemented. Ultimately, a flight test is performed to verify the positioning accuracy in DG mode without using GCPs. The preliminary results of positioning accuracy in DG mode illustrate that horizontal positioning accuracies in the x and y axes are around 5 m at 300 m flight height above the ground. The positioning accuracy of the z axis is below 10 m. Therefore, the proposed platform is relatively safe and inexpensive for collecting critical spatial information for urgent response such as disaster relief and assessment applications where GCPs are not available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9161-9180
Number of pages20
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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