Real-time and Automatic Map Stitching through Aerial Images from UAV

Real-time aerial map stitching through aerial images had been done through many different methods. One of the popular methods was a features-based algorithm to detect features and to match the features of two and more images to produce a map. There are several feature-based methods such as ORB, SIFT, SURF, KAZE, AKAZE and BRISK. These methods detect features and compute homography matrix from matched features to stitch images. The aim for this project is to further optimize the existing image stitching algorithm such that it will be possible to run in real-time as the UAV capture images while airborne. First, we propose to use a matrix multiplication method to replace a singular value decomposition method in the RANSAC algorithm. Next, we propose to change the workflow to detect the image features to increase the map stitching rate. The proposed algorithm was implemented and tested with an online aerial image dataset which contain 100 images with the resolution of 640 × 480. We have successfully achieved the result of 1.45 Hz update rate compared to original image stitching algorithm that runs at 0.69 Hz. The improvement shown in our proposed improved algorithm are more than two folds in terms of computational resources. Currently, the algorithm is being implemented to an actual UAV for a complete system verification.