ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume X-1/W1-2023
05 Dec 2023
 | 05 Dec 2023


C. H. Singh, V. Mishra, and K. Jain

Keywords: UAS, Mapping, Terrain Following, Photogrammetry, 3D mapping, Forestry, Landslide, Drone Surveying

Abstract. This study presents a novel method for high-altitude terrain following photogrammetric mapping using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that adapt their height to the terrain's morphology. Traditional grid missions in UAV mapping surveys use nadir photographs to cover an area of interest which is taken from a fixed height from the datum.Many times this leads to difficulties in flight mission and processing when hilly/undulated terrain is under consideration. The proposed solution addresses this by adjusting the UAV's flying height based on real-time terrain information gathered by a range detection sensor. This paper tests the proposed method in a hilly area in the Himalayas, capturing high-resolution images and processing them using UAV-based photogrammetry software. The pre-acquired terrain information ensures safe separation from obstacles and enables trajectory generation at lower altitudes when planning initial flights. The experimental results validate the effectiveness of the proposed method and highlight its potential for generating high-resolution photogrammetric products applicable to various UAV mapping tasks and monitoring scenarios. Overall, this research contributes to advancing the field of UAV mapping by providing a practical and effective solution for UAV based surveys in hilly and undulated terrains. The findings of this study have significant implications for various applications, including land surveying, environmental monitoring, landslide mapping and other scenarios that require detailed and accurate data acquisition from UAVs.