ArchEyeAutomatic: UAV-Based Documentation of Monuments in Archaeology
Field archaeology is a science in which the objects of study are often destroyed during excavation. Historical monuments are often threatened by exposure to the elements and other environmental influences. Documentation is therefore indispensable in the former case and an essential part of the cons...
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|Summary:||Field archaeology is a science in which the objects of study are often destroyed during excavation. Historical monuments are often threatened by exposure to the elements and other environmental influences. Documentation is therefore indispensable
in the former case and an essential part of the conservation process in the latter.
Documentation methods are moving more and more into the 3D space, so it makes sense to do more remote sensing in the third dimension as well. The present work is a continuation of the author’s project ArchEye, which was one of the first applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for documentation tasks in archaeology and one of the first archaeological uses of hobbyist multi-copter technology when it started in 2009. It demonstrated the wide range of applications for small drones in archaeology. The experience of this project clearly showed that more automation could improve the efficiency of documentation. Consequently, this thesis approaches this task by leaving behind traditional 2D photo stitching and focusing on 3D recording using Structure from Motion (SfM) with the help of UAVs. The experience of the ground-based SfM approach is outlined in the author’s Master’s thesis entitled "From photos to a 3D model: open-source close range photogrammetry for use in archaeology" formed another essential basis for this work.
From the beginning, the aim of this thesis was to achieve a complete method for this approach, because on the one hand a thorough 3D documentation with UAVs and SfM requires specific strategies for the acquisition. On the other hand, the analysis of the resulting 3D data requires tools and knowledge of what can be achieved with them. The limitations of the proposed method are outlined in its specific steps.
Therefore, this thesis presents the technical parts of the data acquisition with UAVs and SfM, but also software and methods for documentation, which are elaborated on several examples. To put the results of the approach into perspective, a comparison with other 3D recording methods is shown and discussed.|