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High-Precision Method for Measuring Targets in Drone Images

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MagIC is actively involved in Geoinformatics research and have been focusing our research on remotely piloted drones, an increasingly popular tool for surveillance and law enforcement due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness. Accurate estimation of real-time metric quantities in digital image-based surveillance is crucial, requiring precise knowledge of image acquisition parameters, including camera position. However, drone-based camera positioning, relying on GPS coordinates, may lack precision.

MagIC researchers have developed a novel, efficient method to measure the dimensions of targets captured in aerial images, utilizing key parameters such as focal length, detector dimensions, and Pitch and Roll angles. Notably, the method accurately determines elevation by referencing just two known points visible in the image, derived from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Testing with high-resolution DEMs and aerial images yielded promising results, with metrics estimated within an error margin of less than 5 cm in most cases. The innovative nature of the method and its outstanding performance were acknowledged through the issuance of a European patent. 


Patent: Painho, M., Tonini, A. , Castelli, M., (2023).  A method for determining a height of an object from a single image recorded by an imaging device comprised by an aerial vehicle. Patent Number: EP4119892A1