Change detection in urban areas by object-based analysis and on-the-fly comparison of multi-view ALS data
The use of helicopters as a sensor platform offers flexible fields of application due to adaptable flying speed at low flight levels. Modern helicopters are equipped with radar altimeters, inertial navigation systems (INS), forward-looking cameras and even laser scanners for automatic obstacle avoidance. If the 3D geometry of the terrain is already available, the analysis of airborne laser scanner (ALS) measurements may also be used for terrain-referenced navigation and Change detection. In this paper, we present a framework for on-the-fly comparison of current ALS data to given reference data of an urban area. In contrast to classical difference methods, our approach extends the concept of occupancy grids known from robot mapping. However, it does not blur the measured information onto the grid cells. The proposed Change detection method applies the Dempster-Shafer theory to identify conflicting evidence along the laser pulse Propagation path. Additional attributes are considered to decide whether detected changes are of man-made origin or occurring due to seasonal effects. The concept of online change detection has been successfully validated in offline experiments with recorded ALS data streams. Results are shown for an urban test site at which multi-view ALS data were acquired at an interval of one year.