June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.920.1 - 26.920.10
Improving Image Quality of a Color Infrared Digital Camera mounted on a Small UAV Platform: An Iterative Active Learning ExperienceIn the summer of 2014, a team at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore(UMES) began flyinga multi-copter, the 3DRobotics X8 with a Color InfraRed digital( CIR) camera, the TetracamADC Lite, in support of ongoing precision agriculture efforts at the university. Tetracam ADClite captures the near infrared, red, and green reflectance from crop canopy to provide assessmentof crop health using vegetation indices based on these spectral frequencies. Several light anddark “banding” were observed in Tetracam images obtained from flights aboard the X8. Priorexperience with aerial imaging efforts aboard a kite-based platform with the same camera systemresulted in qualitatively superior images; however, the kite-based platform lacked the capabilityto navigate a specified trajectory over a field to capture images. Investigations are underway toidentify the cause of the image aberrations as well as to make appropriate modifications toimprove image quality obtained using the multi-copter system. It is likely the image aberrationsand banding effects are due to a combination of factors including rolling shutter of the camera,vibrations transmitted by the multi-copter frame to the camera mount, and orientation of themulti-copter frame during lateral motion while capturing image frames. In an effort to improveimage quality, a number of troubleshooting steps were taken to minimize vibrations, isolate thecamera from any remaining vibrations from the X8 frame, and capturing images only when themulti-copter is hovering at the waypoints associated with the planned mission trajectory. Aftereach change, test flights were undertaken to determine the effect of the change on the imagequality. Students from both the engineering and aviation program at the university worked in ateam setting with the faculty members to advance research goals of the endeavor while gainingsignificant experiential knowledge in the active area of remote sensing using small unmannedaerial vehicles (UAV). This paper will document the procedures used to troubleshoot the bandingissue and other image aberrations and the results obtained as each modification is implemented.The paper will also document how the efforts undertaken aligned with the concrete experience,reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation framework ofKolb’s experiential learning paradigm. It is anticipated the paper will serve as a referencedocument for those experiencing similar issues with small UAV based aerial imaging efforts.
Hartman, C. E., & Nagchaudhuri, A., & Zhang, L., & Diab, A. H. (2015, June), Improving Image Quality of a Color Infrared Digital Camera Mounted on a Small UAV Platform: An Iterative Active Learning Experience Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24257
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015