Method for combining fused lidar/digital imagery to create 3D surfaces

Technical Summary

Taylor Bybee and Dr. Scott Budge of the Space Dynamics Lab at Utah State University have developed an algorithm to create a textured digital elevation model (TDEM) of landscapes using a low-cost UAV system. TDEMs are used to evaluate landscapes which can improve situational awareness of an area and be used in disaster response or precision agriculture. The algorithm takes texel images, or fused LIDAR/digital imagery, and registers them to create a larger texel image. Even when only a little information is available about the surface, the algorithm can register the correct information to create the 3D surface. This makes the 3D image more accurate and means low-cost systems, such as a GPS/Inertial Measurement Unit, can be used. 


Commercial Applications

This technology improves 3D mapping, and would likely be useful in the LIDAR Device Manufacturing and the Survey and Mapping Services markets. 

•  Commercial 3D printing 

•  Government, military, or commercial 3D modeling 

•  Contour map or 3D map generation of natural or man-made features

•  GPS denied navigation

•  Open pit mining material removal tracking

•  Flood plain mapping


Competitive Advantages

•  Upfront cost of obtaining the TDEM is reduced significantly because 3D surfaces can be created using low-cost GPS/IMU devices

•  More accurate 3D surfaces

•  Improves knowledge of the position and attitude from which a set of texel images was acquired


•  "Textured digital elevation model formation from low-cost UAV ladar/digital image data" (2015). Bybee, Taylor C. and Budge, Scott, Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers, Proceedings of SPIE.


Related Technologies

•  USU tech ID# 15024, Method for Visualizing 3D Images Created From Registered and Fused Lidar/Digital Images

Patent Information: