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A Four-Step Ortho-Rectification Procedure for Geo-Referencing Video Streams from a Low-Cost UAV

Authors: F. O. Faithpraise, C. R. Chatwin, R. C. D. Young, B. O. Olawale, P. M. Birch, A. O. Olukiran


In this paper, we present a four-step ortho-rectification procedure for real-time geo-referencing of video data from a low-cost UAV equipped with a multi-sensor system. The basic procedures for the real-time ortho-rectification are: (1) decompilation of the video stream into individual frames; (2) establishing the interior camera orientation parameters; (3) determining the relative orientation parameters for each video frame with respect to each other; (4) finding the absolute orientation parameters, using a self-calibration bundle and adjustment with the aid of a mathematical model. Each ortho-rectified video frame is then mosaicked together to produce a mosaic image of the test area, which is then merged with a well referenced existing digital map for the purpose of geo-referencing and aerial surveillance. A test field located in Abuja, Nigeria was used to evaluate our method. Video and telemetry data were collected for about fifteen minutes, and they were processed using the four-step ortho-rectification procedure. The results demonstrated that the geometric measurement of the control field from ortho-images is more accurate when compared with those from original perspective images when used to pin point the exact location of targets on the video imagery acquired by the UAV. The 2-D planimetric accuracy when compared with the 6 control points measured by a GPS receiver is between 3 to 5 metres.

Keywords: UAV, target tracking, geo-referencing, ortho-rectification, video frame, self-calibration

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