Registration of Vehicle-Borne Point Clouds and Panoramic Images Based on Sensor Constellations

Sensors (Basel). 2017 Apr 11;17(4):837. doi: 10.3390/s17040837.


A mobile mapping system (MMS) is usually utilized to collect environmental data on and around urban roads. Laser scanners and panoramic cameras are the main sensors of an MMS. This paper presents a new method for the registration of the point clouds and panoramic images based on sensor constellation. After the sensor constellation was analyzed, a feature point, the intersection of the connecting line between the global positioning system (GPS) antenna and the panoramic camera with a horizontal plane, was utilized to separate the point clouds into blocks. The blocks for the central and sideward laser scanners were extracted with the segmentation feature points. Then, the point clouds located in the blocks were separated from the original point clouds. Each point in the blocks was used to find the accurate corresponding pixel in the relative panoramic images via a collinear function, and the position and orientation relationship amongst different sensors. A search strategy is proposed for the correspondence of laser scanners and lenses of panoramic cameras to reduce calculation complexity and improve efficiency. Four cases of different urban road types were selected to verify the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed method. Results indicate that most of the point clouds (with an average of 99.7%) were successfully registered with the panoramic images with great efficiency. Geometric evaluation results indicate that horizontal accuracy was approximately 0.10-0.20 m, and vertical accuracy was approximately 0.01-0.02 m for all cases. Finally, the main factors that affect registration accuracy, including time synchronization amongst different sensors, system positioning and vehicle speed, are discussed.

Keywords: feature point; mobile mapping system; panoramic image; point clouds; registration; sensor constellation.