Reference : Multiscale Integration of High-Resolution Spaceborne and Drone-Based Imagery for a Hi...
Scientific journals : Article
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Earth sciences & physical geography
Engineering, computing & technology : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Computational Sciences
Multiscale Integration of High-Resolution Spaceborne and Drone-Based Imagery for a High-Accuracy Digital Elevation Model Over Tristan da Cunha
Backes, Dietmar mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Engineering Research Unit >]
Teferle, Felix Norman mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Engineering Research Unit >]
Frontiers in Earth Science
Frontiers Media S.A.
The Need for a High-Accuracy, Open-Access Global Digital Elevation Model
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] Digital Elevation Models (DEM) ; multiscale DEM integration ; Phtogrammetry ; Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) ; Very High Resolution (VHR) Satellite imagery
[en] Very high-resolution (VHR) optical Earth observation (EO) satellites as well as low-altitude and easy-to-use unmanned aerial systems (UAS/drones) provide ever-improving data sources for the generation of detailed 3-dimensional (3D) data using digital photogrammetric methods with dense image matching. Today both data sources represent cost-effective alternatives to dedicated airborne sensors, especially for remote regions. The latest generation of EO satellites can collect VHR imagery up to 0.30 m ground sample distance (GSD) of even the most remote location from different viewing angles many times per year. Consequently, well-chosen scenes from growing image archives enable the generation of high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs). Furthermore, low-cost and easy to use drones can be quickly deployed in remote regions to capture blocks of images of local areas. Dense point clouds derived from these methods provide an invaluable data source to fill the gap between globally available low-resolution DEMs and highly accurate terrestrial surveys. Here we investigate the use of archived VHR satellite imagery with approx. 0.5 m GSD as well as low-altitude drone-based imagery with average GSD of better than 0.03 m to generate high-quality DEMs using photogrammetric tools over Tristan da Cunha, a remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean which lies beyond the reach of current commercial manned airborne mapping platforms. This study explores the potentials and limitations to combine this heterogeneous data sources to generate improved DEMs in terms of accuracy and resolution. A cross-validation between low-altitude airborne and spaceborne data sets describes the fit between both optical data sets. No co-registration error, scale difference or distortions were detected, and a quantitative cloud-to-cloud comparison showed an average distance of 0.26 m between both point clouds. Both point clouds were merged applying a conventional georeferenced approach. The merged DEM preserves the rich detail from the drone-based survey and provides an accurate 3D representation of the entire study area. It provides the most detailed model of the island to date, suitable to support practical and scientific applications. This study demonstrates that combination archived VHR satellite and low-altitude drone-based imagery provide inexpensive alternatives to generate high-quality DEMs.
University of Luxembourg - UL; DigitalGlobe Foundation (Image Grand)
Researchers ; Professionals ; General public
The original publication is available at

File(s) associated to this reference

Fulltext file(s):

Limited access
feart-08-00319.pdfPublisher postprint8.1 MBRequest a copy

Bookmark and Share SFX Query

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.