Photogrammetric Processing of IceBridge DMS Imagery into High-Resolution Digital Surface Models (DEM and Visible Overlay)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 8:32 AM
John C Arvesen, Cirrus Digital Systems, Tiburon, CA, United States and Ryan C Dotson, Fireball Information Technolog, Reno, NV, United States
The DMS (Digital Mapping System) has been a sensor component of all DC-8 and P-3 IceBridge flights since 2009 and has acquired over 3 million JPEG images over Arctic and Antarctic land and sea ice. The DMS imagery is primarily used for identifying and locating open leads for LiDAR sea-ice freeboard measurements and documenting snow and ice surface conditions. The DMS is a COTS Canon SLR camera utilizing a 28mm focal length lens, resulting in a 10cm GSD and swath of ~400 meters from a nominal flight altitude of 500 meters. Exterior orientation is provided by an Applanix IMU/GPS which records a TTL pulse coincident with image acquisition. Notable for virtually all IceBridge flights is that parallel grids are not flown and thus there is no ability to photogrammetrically tie any imagery to adjacent flight lines.

Approximately 800,000 Level-3 DMS Surface Model data products have been delivered to NSIDC, each consisting of a Digital Elevation Model (GeoTIFF DEM) and a co-registered Visible Overlay (GeoJPEG). Absolute elevation accuracy for each individual Elevation Model is adjusted to concurrent Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) Lidar data, resulting in higher elevation accuracy than can be achieved by photogrammetry alone. The adjustment methodology forces a zero mean difference to the corresponding ATM point cloud integrated over each DMS frame. Statistics are calculated for each DMS Elevation Model frame and show RMS differences are within +/- 10 cm with respect to the ATM point cloud. The DMS Surface Model possesses similar elevation accuracy to the ATM point cloud, but with the following advantages:

  • · Higher and uniform spatial resolution: 40 cm GSD
  • · 45% wider swath: 435 meters vs. 300 meters at 500 meter flight altitude
  • · Visible RGB co-registered overlay at 10 cm GSD
  • · Enhanced visualization through 3-dimensional virtual reality (i.e. video fly-through) 

Examples will be presented of the utility of these advantages and a novel use of a cell phone camera for aerial photogrammetry will also be presented.