Unknown terrain imaging with adaptive spatial resolution using UAV

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Ad Hoc Networks


Recently, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones equipped with advanced cameras, have introduced a major revolution in surveying wide landscapes to collect ground data very fast. Capturing images of an unknown area with the desired resolution is of utmost importance for many real-life applications. For a UAV fitted with a given camera, its altitude from the ground surface primarily determines the spatial resolution of mapping. Hence, for an uneven terrain, it is a great challenge to maneuver the UAV dynamically to capture snapshots maintaining the desired spatial resolution throughout the area. This paper proposes a novel fully-automated technique for simple nadir drones to capture images of an unknown 3D terrain satisfying a predefined spatial resolution criterion. Also, an adaptive real-time flight path planning scheme is presented to minimize the distance traversed by the drone. A detailed performance evaluation study on real terrain data shows that the proposed technique can cover almost 97−99% of the area, maintaining the specified resolution with an almost 46−59% reduction in the path length compared to the conventional techniques.



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