Synthetic Aperture Imaging with Drones

Oliver Bimber, Indrajit Kurmi, D.C. Schedl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Synthetic apertures sample the signal of wide aperture sensors with either arrays of static or single moving smaller aperture sensors whose individual signals are computationally combined to increase the resolution, depth-of-field, frame rate, contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio. This principle has been used for radar, telescopes, microscopes, sonar, ultrasound, laser, and optical imaging. With airborne optical sectioning (AOS), we apply camera drones for synthetic aperture imaging to uncover the ruins of a 19th century fortification system that is concealed by dense forest and shrubs. Compared to alternative airborne scanning technologies (such as LiDAR), AOS is cheaper, delivers surface color information, achieves higher sampling resolutions, and (in contrast to photogrammetry) does not suffer from inaccurate correspondence matches and long processing times.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8698352
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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