Evaluation of Direct RTK-georeferenced UAV Images for Crop and Pasture Monitoring Using Polygon Grids

Autoren: Georg Bareth, Christoph Hütt

GreenGrass   |   11.2023    peer reviewed
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Remote sensing approaches using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have become an established method to monitor agricultural systems. They enable data acquisition with multi- or hyperspectral, RGB, or LiDAR sensors. For non-destructive estimation of crop or sward traits, photogrammetric analysis using Structure from Motion and Multiview Stereopsis (SfM/MVS) has opened a new research field. SfM/MVS analysis enables the monitoring of plant height and plant growth to determine, e.g., biomass. A drawback in the SfM/MVS analysis workflow is that it requires ground control points (GCPs), making it unsuitable for monitoring managed fields which are typically larger than 1 ha. Consequently, accurately georeferenced image data acquisition would be beneficial as it would enable data analysis without GCPs. In the last decade, substantial progress has been achieved in integrating real-time kinematic (RTK) positioning in UAVs, which can potentially provide the desired accuracy in cm range. Therefore, to evaluate the accuracy of crop and sward height analysis, we investigated two SfM/MVS workflows for RTK-tagged UAV data, (I) without and (II) with GCPs. The results clearly indicate that direct RTK-georeferenced UAV data perform well in workflow (I) without using any GCPs (RMSE for Z is 2.8 cm) compared to the effectiveness in workflow (II), which included the GCPs in the SfM/MVS analysis (RMSE for Z is 1.7 cm). Both data sets have the same Ground Sampling Distance (GSD) of 2.46 cm. We conclude that RTK-equipped UAVs enable the monitoring of crop and sward growth greater than 3 cm. At greater plant height differences, the monitoring is significantly more accurate.

Publikationsdatum: 11.2023

Verlag: Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Quelle: PFG – Journal of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Science | 6 | 471-483 | 91

Publikationstyp: Journal-Artikel