Combined airborne sensors in urban environment
Military operations in urban areas became more relevant in the past decades. Detailed situation awareness in these complex environments is crucial for successful operations. Within the EDA (European Defence Agency) project on "Detection in Urban scenario using Combined Airborne imaging Sensors" (DUCAS) an extensive data set of hyperspectral and high spatial resolution data as well as three dimensional (3D) laser data was generated in a common field trial in the city of Zeebrugge, Belgium, in the year 2011. In the frame of DUCAS, methods were developed at two levels of processing. In the first level, single sensor data were used for land cover mapping and the detection of targets of interest (i.e. personnel, vehicles and objects). In the second level, data fusion was applied at pixel level as well as information level to investigate the benefits of combining sensor systems in an operational context. Providing data for mission planning and mapping is an important task for aerial reconnaissance and it includes the creation or the update of high quality 2D and 3D maps. In DUCAS, semi-automatic methods and a wide range of sensor data (hyperspectral, LIDAR, high resolution orthophotos and video data) were used for the creation of highly detailed land cover maps as well as urban terrain models. Combining the diverse information gained by different sensors increases the information content and the quality of the extracted information. In this paper we will present advanced methods for the creation of 2D/3D maps, show results and the benefit of fusing multi-sensor data.