POSITIONING IN TIME AND SPACE – COST-EFFECTIVE EXTERIOR ORIENTATION FOR AIRBORNE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHS
Keywords: Aerial image, Archaeology, Direct georeferencing, Exterior orientation, Geocoding, GNSS/INS
Abstract. Since manned, airborne aerial reconnaissance for archaeological purposes is often characterised by more-or-less random photographing of archaeological features on the Earth, the exact position and orientation of the camera during image acquisition becomes very important in an effective inventorying and interpretation workflow of these aerial photographs. Although the positioning is generally achieved by simultaneously logging the flight path or directly recording the camera's position with a GNSS receiver, this approach does not allow to record the necessary roll, pitch and yaw angles of the camera. The latter are essential elements for the complete exterior orientation of the camera, which allows – together with the inner orientation of the camera – to accurately define the portion of the Earth recorded in the photograph. This paper proposes a cost-effective, accurate and precise GNSS/IMU solution (image position: 2.5 m and orientation: 2°, both at 1σ) to record all essential exterior orientation parameters for the direct georeferencing of the images. After the introduction of the utilised hardware, this paper presents the developed software that allows recording and estimating these parameters. Furthermore, this direct georeferencing information can be embedded into the image's metadata. Subsequently, the first results of the estimation of the mounting calibration (i.e. the misalignment between the camera and GNSS/IMU coordinate frame) are provided. Furthermore, a comparison with a dedicated commercial photographic GNSS/IMU solution will prove the superiority of the introduced solution. Finally, an outlook on future tests and improvements finalises this article.