Improved Real Time Geo-Registration Techniques For Airborne Imagery
ABSTRACT: This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project develops simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)-based innovative methods for geo-registration and demonstrates the feasibility and effectiveness of the methods for accurate geo-registration of wide area motion imagery (WAMI). The proposed methods are capable of dealing with noisy sensor metadata and do not rely on the availability of accurate and/or up-to-date geo-registered reference data. The key innovations in this effort are: i) development of efficient incremental SLAM based geo-registration to enable large scale estimation, ii) incorporation of visual odometry priors to handle non-smooth motion, iii) incorporation of priors from reference data for geographically consistent mapping and error handling, and iv) development of a distributed framework to enable airborne processing in SWaP constrained environment. The project further offers analysis of the algorithms with respect to a wide variety of system parameters, such as, types of pose constraints and their modeling, choice of features, choice of data association schemes, etc. The Phase I effort will include: development of enabling algorithms, implementation of a video geo-registration system, demonstration of proof of concept, and evaluation and failure mode analysis of the proposed technologies using real WAMI data. BENEFIT: Wide-area motion imagery has proven to be a critical asset for persistent surveillance and reconnaissance of large geospatial regions. However the utility and value of these assets to the analysts significantly depends on the quality of geo-registration. For example, the performance of common applications such as targeting, tracking of high valued targets, and activity analysis, all are a function of georegistration accuracy of the data. Hence the development of robust geo-registration technologies is critical for enabling truly automated real-time wide area surveillance and reconnaissance. The proposed technologies facilitate accurate geo-registration on large scale imagery in the presence of sensor noise and errors in geo-registered reference data while overcoming fundamental and operational challenges and enable many automated tools for the exploitation of WAMI data. These include: Tracking and handoff of high-value targets to and from WAMI data. Precision targeting. Mission Planning Automated Activity Analysis Real-time monitoring, and Forensic data analysis.
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