Multiple Targets Geolocation Using SIFT and Stereo Vision on Airborne Video Sequences
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We propose a robust and accurate method for multi-target geo-localization from airborne video. The difference between our approach and other approaches in the literature is fourfold: 1) it does not require gimbal control of the camera or any particular path planning control for the UAV; 2) it can instantaneously geolocate multiple targets even if they were not previously observed by the camera; 3) it does not require a georeferenced terrain database nor an altimeter for estimating the UAV's and the target's altitudes; and 4) it requires only one camera, but it employs a multi-stereo technique using the image sequence for increased accuracy in target geo-location. The only requirements for our approach are: that the intrinsic parameters of the camera be known; that the on board camera be equipped with global positioning system (GPS) and inertial measurement unit (IMU); and that enough feature points can be extracted from the surroundings of the target. Since the first two constraints are easily satisfied, the only real requirement is regarding the feature points. However, as we explain later, this last constraint can also be alleviated if the ground is approximately planar. The result is a method that can reach a few meters of accuracy for an UAV flying at a few hundred meters above the ground. Such performance is demonstrated by computer simulation, in-scale data using a model city, and real airborne video with ground truth.
Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotic System (IROS), pp. 5327-5332, Oct. 2009.