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Accuracy Assessment of Post-processing Kinematic Georeferencing Based on Real-time Kinematic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Structure-from-motion Photogrammetry: Topographic Measurements of a Riverbed in a Small Watershed with a Check Dam
  • Masato Hayamizu ,
  • Yasutaka Nakata
Masato Hayamizu
Hokkaido Research Organization

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Yasutaka Nakata
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To obtain an accurate digital surface model of the small watershed topography of a forested area while reducing time and labor costs, we used a consumer-grade unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a build-in real-time kinematic global navigation satellite system. The applicability of structure-from-motion (SfM) multi-view stereo processing with post-processing kinematic (PPK) correction of the positional coordinate data (the UAV-PPK-SfM method) was tested. Nine verification points were set up in a small (0.5 km2) watershed, based on a check dam in the headwaters of a forest area. The location information of the verification points extracted from the digital surface model acquired by UAV-PPK-SfM and the overall working time were compared with the corresponding location information and working time of a traditional field survey using a total station. The results showed that the vertical error between the total station and each verification point at an altitude of 150 m ranged from 0.006 to 0.181 m. The working time of the UAV-PK-SfM survey was 10 % of that of the total station survey (30 min). The UAV-PPK-SfM workflow proposed in this study shows that wide-area, non-destructive topographic surveying, including fluvial geomorphological mapping, is possible with a vertical error of ±0.2 m in small watersheds (<0.5 km2). This method will be useful for rapid topographic surveying in inaccessible areas during disasters, such as monitoring debris flow at check dam sites, and for efficient topographic mapping of steep valleys in forested areas where the positioning of ground control points is a laborious task.