Aerial survey

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The InView UAV for use in aerial survey applications.
Pteryx UAV, a civilian UAV for aerial photography and photomapping with roll-stabilised camera head

Aerial survey is a geomatics method of collecting information by using aerial photography, LiDAR or from remote sensing imagery using other bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as infrared, gamma, or ultraviolet. It can also refer to the chart or map made by analysing a region from the air. This is typically done using aeroplanes, helicopters, UAVs such as the InView Unmanned Aircraft System and in history with balloons. Aerial survey should be distinguished from satellite imagery technologies because of its better resolution, quality and atmospheric conditions. Today, aerial survey is often recognized as a synonym for aerophotogrammetry, part of photogrammetry where the camera is placed in the air. Measurements on aerial images are provided by photogrammetric technologies and methods.

Aerial surveys can provide information on many things not visible from the ground.

Terms used in aerial survey[edit]

  • exposure station or air station
    the position of the optical centre of the camera at the moment of exposure.
  • flying height
    the eleveation of the exposure station above the datum (usually mean sea level).
  • altitude
    the vertical distance of the aircraft above the earth surface.
  • tilt
    the angle between the aerial camera and the horizontal axis perpendicular to the line of flight.
  • tip
    the angle between the aerial camera and the line of flight.
  • principal point
    the point of intersection of the optical axis of the aerial camera with the photographical plane
  • isocentre
    the point on the areal photograph in which the bisector of the angle of tilt meets the photograph.
  • nadir point
    the image of the nadir, i.e. the point on the areal photograph where a plumbline dropped from the front nodal point pierces the photograph.
  • scale
    ratio of the focal length of the camera objective and the distance of the exposure station from the ground

Aerial surveys are used for:

Aerial view of the Paranal Observatory, created by the non-profit initiative Wings for Science which offers aerial support to public research organisations.[1]

Aerial survey uses a measuring camera where the elements of the interior orientation are known, but a camera that has much larger focal length and film and more lenses are used.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Wings for Science Fly Over Paranal". ESO Picture of the Week. Retrieved 21 July 2013.