Currently, small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are primarily used for capturing and down-linking real-time video. To date, their role as a low-cost airborne platform for capturing high-resolution, georeferenced still imagery has not been fully utilized. On-going work within the Unmanned Vehicle Systems Program at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is attempting to exploit this small UAV-acquired, still imagery potential. Initially, a UAV-based still imagery work flow model was developed that includes initial UAV mission planning, sensor selection, UAV/sensor integration, and imagery collection, processing, and analysis. Components to support each stage of the work flow are also being developed. Critical to use of acquired still imagery is the ability to detect changes between images of the same area over time. To enhance the analysts’ change detection ability, a UAV-specific, GIS-based change detection system called SADI or System for Analyzing Differences in Imagery is under development. This paper will discuss the associated challenges and approaches to collecting still imagery with small UAVs. Additionally, specific components of the developed work flow system will be described and graphically illustrated using varied examples of small UAV- acquired still imagery.
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