Creek Line - Photomosaic from video

Preparing for a simple waypoint mission with the Cheerson CX-20

Mission Summary

  • Goal: Create an orthomosaic (stitched map) from a video instead of a series of still images 
  • Tech: Cheerson CX-20 quadcopter drone, Mobius actioncam, Mission Planner, Microsoft ICE
  • Conditions: Early morning, sunny, nil wind
  • Outcome: Microsoft ICE had no problems creating a map for a video, very easy way of creating a 'strip' map. 

My Father purchased a Cheerson CX-20 drone this week and before sending it down to him I thought I'd do some checks and some tweaks to it, so that when he received it it was 'dialled in'.

As part of the testing process I decided to send it on an auto waypoint mission. This CX-20 does not have a gimbal (plans are to use it as a fun FPV machine for now) so I created a quick angled block to face the Mobius actioncam downwards. The idea was that instead of capturing still images I would just take a video of the ground below.

Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) has a great little feature for creating a mosaic (panorama) from a video. I've been eager to test this feature out and felt the CX-20 drone with a Mobius would make the fine airborne platform for such a mission.

Creek Line - Photomosaic from video
Using Microsoft ICE to create a 'strip map' using aerial video from a drone
The flight plan in Mission Planner was simple, no need for a grid layout or calculating the image lap or how many images would need to be taken. Simply create a 'one way' waypoint and set the camera to record. I thought a river or pipeline would be a good way to demonstrate this 'strip map' style of aerial surveying, however a small creek line was the easiest (and safest) example I could find.

Creek Line - Photomosaic from video
A nice simple waypoint flight plan along a creek to then create a basic photo mosaic 
See a quick video showing how the mission unfolded and then see the results in a zoomable photo mosaic below.

The photomosaic is not as high resolution as some of the other missions I have completed using the 12Mp camera, however for a 'scouting mission' I think it works well. Note; click the top right of the image to view in full screen mode.

This has been another 'drone adventure' in aerial surveying, inspection and mapping by The Aero Scout.
Location: Viveash WA 6056, Australia