A Feasibility Study on the Use of Manual Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Topographical Surveys
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There is a growing need for up-to-date data for rapid, accurate decision making in the modern digital age. High resolution topographical data has commonly been the domain of National Mapping Agencies. With the maturing of automatic Structure from Motion and Multi-View Stereoscopy software small organisations and individuals now have the ability to make and generate their own surveys. This study looks at the feasibility of using an inexpensive Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for photogrammetric topographical surveys. To do this it looks at and compares two commercially available compact digital cameras; a Canon SX230 HS and a GoPro Hero 3. It explores the benefits and flaws within each camera. Through a comparison of the accuracy and consistency of the DSMs produced from the cameras imagery, an evaluation of two SfM and MVS software systems; Agisoft Photoscan and Photosynth will be made. Finally, the suitability of the DJI Phantom as a UAV platform for surveying will be determined and future improvements suggested.