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Imaging System Produces 3-D Monument Models with UAVs

Photonics.com
May 2012
GRANADA, Spain, May 29, 2012 — The first 3-D imaging system to combine data obtained from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with image-based 3-D modeling technologies and virtual representations has produced realistic models of historical buildings from images.

To date, UAVs have been used in many research fields because of their ability to move quickly over abrupt areas, to avoid large obstacles and to provide information from multiple sensors. Now they can provide realistic modeling of 3-D objects from images obtained from sensors, stereoscopic cameras and multiple geolocated images obtained from various angles.

The developers, researchers at the University of Granada, now hope to obtain a 3-D model of a historical building facade, such as a cathedral, without any human intervention and at a lower cost than other technologies currently available.

The device, which can scan a facade with as much or higher precision as a 3-D scanner, could be used for many applications. It can get as close as a few inches away from an object to obtain the smallest and unreachable details, the scientists say.

University of Granada research groups participating in the project included the Grupo de Modelos de Decision y Optimizacion (MODO); the Grupo de investigacion en Informatica Grafica (GIIG); the Virtual Reality Laboratory; and the companies intelligenia Dynamics and Virtum Graphics, University of Granada spinoffs aggregated to the Biotic Campus of International Excellence (CIE). In addition, the CIE will support this research project.

The project is supported by the CIE and the Patronato de la Alhambra y el Generalife an CETURSA Sierra Nevada S.A, which belongs to the Junta de Andalucia.

For more information, visit: www.ugr.es


GLOSSARY
cie
Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage, the international commission on illumination.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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