Rolling Shutter Effect Important in UAV Photogrammetry

The typical UAV camera uses a rolling shutter to record the image scan line by scan line. This can cause distortion of the image. (Be sure to watch the video at the end for a detailed explanation.)

Photo of Trimble Gateway UAV with Rolling shutter

Trimble Gateway UAV

Dr. Munjy, who I recently met at the TRB AFB80 summer meeting and his grad student Jacob Lopez have written an important paper on the rolling shutter effect inherent in all CMOS cameras. These are the cameras found on most UAVs. The rolling shutter effect becomes significant when flying the UAV fast and/or when flying at low altitudes.

The researchers studied the use of software to correct for the rolling shutter effect on a test site that had extensive ground control installed. They tested three different commercial software products, two of which claimed to remove the rolling shutter effect from the imagery. They used a number of control layouts varying from using 15 ground control points to just five.

Photo of Test Plot Using 5 Ground Control Points to test rolling shutter

5 Ground Control Points

To read the full article click here.



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In the following explanation by Destin at SmarterEveryDay he does an impressive job of visually explaining a difficult topic. Maybe that is why this video has nearly 2,500,000 views – Incredible! This is a person you might want to follow.

This entry was posted in airborne LiDAR, Data, Mapping, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, Software, UAS, UAVs and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rolling Shutter Effect Important in UAV Photogrammetry

  1. Thanks for the insights. The great benefit of a rolling shutter sensor is that it offers smallers pixels allowing the use of smaller optics. This in itself will reduce weight which is important for UAV’s. So you could say the use of rolling shutter sensors is a trade off in the end.

    My company (Entner Electronics) offers zoom-block cameras with a special high speed readout technique to greatly reduce the typical rolling shutter artefacts. Additionally, the camera electronics is optimized for low latency. Feel free to contact me for more information.

    • lidar says:

      Hello Marco,

      Thanks for the insight. If you are interested I would be glad to post a blog about your technology. Something like 300 words with an image or two is all we need.



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