EXTRACTION OF SOLAR CELLS FROM UAV-BASED THERMAL IMAGE SEQUENCES
Keywords: photogrammetric point cloud, ortho image, thermal infrared, solar cells
Abstract. This paper discusses the automatic generation of thermal infrared ortho image mosaics and the extraction of solar cells from these ortho image mosaics. Image sequences are recorded by a thermal infrared (TIR) camera mounted on a remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS). The image block is relatively oriented doing a bundle block adjustment and transferred to a local coordinate system using ground control points. The resulting ortho image mosaic is searched for solar cells. A library of templates of solar cells from thermal images is used to learn an implicit shape model. The extraction of the single solar cells is done by estimating corners and centre points of cells using these shape models in a Markov-Chain-Monte-Carlo algorithm by combining four corners and a centre point. As for the limited geometric resolution and radiometric contrast, most of the cells are not directly detected. An iterative process based on the knowledge of the regular grid structure of a solar cell installation is used to predict further cells and verify their existence by repeating the corner extraction and grammar combination. Results show that this work flow is able to detect most of the solar cells under the condition that the cells have a more or less common radiometric behaviour and no reflections i.e. from the sun occur. The cells need a rectangular shape and have the same orientation so that the model of the grammar is applicable to the solar cells.