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Helium balloons for 3D modelling: off to a flying start?

Britt Lonneville (UGent) , Cornelis Stal (UGent) , Berdien De Roo (UGent) , Bart De Wit (UGent) , Alain De Wulf (UGent) and Philippe De Maeyer (UGent)
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Abstract
Currently, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as a platform for aerial photography is becoming more and more common practice for 3D photo modelling applications. However, the use of these platforms has several drawbacks. Firstly, to recharge the UAV’s batteries a nearby electricity source is needed. This might cause problems when performing research in remote areas. Secondly, a skilled operator is required to control the UAV. Thirdly, there might be legal restrictions to the use of such an aerial platform in several countries. Finally, purchasing a UAV can form a big cost when performing a small project. To address these issues, the use of helium balloons as an alternative and low cost platform for aerial photography is proposed. To assess its efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy, several case studies are elaborated. In the first case study the accuracy of a 3D model created by laser scanning is compared with a 3D model created by helium balloon imagery (Ghent, Belgium). The second case study comprises a test of the performance of the system used at the lake of Vassivière (France). Finally, the helium balloons are deployed on the archaeological site of Edzna (Mexico). Here, a comparison is made between the accuracy of 3D models generated by UAV and helium balloon imagery. In conclusion, the advantages and drawbacks of the use of helium balloons as platform for aerial photography are listed. This allows potential users to make an informed choice between this and other platforms.
Keywords
structure from motion, aerial photography, low cost, UAV, 3D modelling, helium balloons

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MLA
Lonneville, Britt et al. “Helium Balloons for 3D Modelling: Off to a Flying Start?” Low Cost 3D, Papers of the Workshop. 2014. Print.
APA
Lonneville, B., Stal, C., De Roo, B., De Wit, B., De Wulf, A., & De Maeyer, P. (2014). Helium balloons for 3D modelling: off to a flying start? Low Cost 3D, Papers of the workshop. Presented at the Low Cost 3D workshop.
Chicago author-date
Lonneville, Britt, Cornelis Stal, Berdien De Roo, Bart De Wit, Alain De Wulf, and Philippe De Maeyer. 2014. “Helium Balloons for 3D Modelling: Off to a Flying Start?” In Low Cost 3D, Papers of the Workshop.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Lonneville, Britt, Cornelis Stal, Berdien De Roo, Bart De Wit, Alain De Wulf, and Philippe De Maeyer. 2014. “Helium Balloons for 3D Modelling: Off to a Flying Start?” In Low Cost 3D, Papers of the Workshop.
Vancouver
1.
Lonneville B, Stal C, De Roo B, De Wit B, De Wulf A, De Maeyer P. Helium balloons for 3D modelling: off to a flying start? Low Cost 3D, Papers of the workshop. 2014.
IEEE
[1]
B. Lonneville, C. Stal, B. De Roo, B. De Wit, A. De Wulf, and P. De Maeyer, “Helium balloons for 3D modelling: off to a flying start?,” in Low Cost 3D, Papers of the workshop, Berlin, Germany, 2014.
@inproceedings{6842553,
  abstract     = {Currently, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as a platform for aerial photography is becoming more and more common practice for 3D photo modelling applications. However, the use of these platforms has several drawbacks. Firstly, to recharge the UAV’s batteries a nearby electricity source is needed. This might cause problems when performing research in remote areas. Secondly, a skilled operator is required to control the UAV. Thirdly, there might be legal restrictions to the use of such an aerial platform in several countries. Finally, purchasing a UAV can form a big cost when performing a small project. To address these issues, the use of helium balloons as an alternative and low cost platform for aerial photography is proposed. To assess its efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy, several case studies are elaborated. In the first case study the accuracy of a 3D model created by laser scanning is compared with a 3D model created by helium balloon imagery (Ghent, Belgium). The second case study comprises a test of the performance of the system used at the lake of Vassivière (France). Finally, the helium balloons are deployed on the archaeological site of Edzna (Mexico). Here, a comparison is made between the accuracy of 3D models generated by UAV and helium balloon imagery. In conclusion, the advantages and drawbacks of the use of helium balloons as platform for aerial photography are listed. This allows potential users to make an informed choice between this and other platforms.},
  author       = {Lonneville, Britt and Stal, Cornelis and De Roo, Berdien and De Wit, Bart and De Wulf, Alain and De Maeyer, Philippe},
  booktitle    = {Low Cost 3D, Papers of the workshop},
  keywords     = {structure from motion,aerial photography,low cost,UAV,3D modelling,helium balloons},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Berlin, Germany},
  pages        = {7},
  title        = {Helium balloons for 3D modelling: off to a flying start?},
  year         = {2014},
}