Horizontal Calibration of Vessels with UASs

TitleHorizontal Calibration of Vessels with UASs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsO'Heran, C, Calder, BR
JournalMarine Geodesy
Date Published2021-03-03
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Keywordsbathymetry, Crowdsourced Bathymetry, Remote Sensing, UAS, Vessel Calibration

Knowledge of offset vectors from vessel mounted sonars, to systems such as Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is crucial for accurate ocean mapping applications. Traditional survey methods, such as employing laser scanners or total stations, are used to determine professional vessel offset distances reliably. However, for vessels of opportunity that are collecting volunteer bathymetric data, it is beneficial to consider survey methods that are less time consuming, less expensive, and which do not involve bringing the vessel into a dry dock. Thus, this paper explores two alternative methods that meet this criterion for horizontally calibrating vessels.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) can be used to perform cost-effective and quick surveys. Thus, UASs were utilized to horizontally calibrate a vessel with both Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry and aerial lidar while the vessel was moored. Estimates of the horizontal deviations from ground truth, were obtained by comparing the horizontal distances between targets on a vessel, acquired by the UAS methods, to multiple ground truth sources: a survey-grade laser scan and fiberglass tape measurements. The investigated methods were able to achieve horizontal deviations on the order of centimeters with the use of Ground Control Points (GCPs).

Refereed DesignationRefereed