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Development of a multi-sensor system for low cost mobile mapping based on Arduino platform


A mobile mapping system provides the geographic information of traffic routes and its surroundings. Position, navigation and imaging sensors are integrated into a vehicle. The data are processed and they result in georeferenced images of streets and highways. The costs of the sensors and the mobile platform plus the development and algorithmic computation are very high. Low-cost solutions have been investigated to make feasible the method under appropriate conditions. The Arduino platform is a low cost alternative that consists of hardware and software designed to release non specialized in electronics or programming users. The open source Arduino prototyping platform (PCA) has been used by people with many different skill levels but electronics for various applications. It can be used as a multisensory platform suited to integrate different sensors: digital cameras, GNSS and IMU/MEMS inertial sensors with digital compass. The time sync of the signals is essential to analyze the data (images, positioning, and attitude) and it is guaranteed by the PCA. The integrated assembly of a set of sensors (camera, GNSS, IMU/MEMS) with PCA produces a modular unit to acquire a georeferenced image (UIMAGI). Two UIMAGI will acquire images in the stereoscopic or appropriate overlap mode, which is fundamental to photogrammetric mapping, although redundant to estimate the position and attitude (PA) of digital cameras from the GNSS/IMU/MEMS data. The pair of UIMAGI can be mounted on the roof of a vehicle to collect data to map streets and highways. It may also be walked around by a pedestrian because of its modular characteristic and lightweight. In this case, a unit or a pair is an option that should be surveys where the vehicle application is less appropriate such as the detailed survey of the electric poles and assets in consumer units, for example. A specific application on the quality of lanes meet the objective of the research project supported by CNPq (research productivity scholarship, Project Nr. 301937/2010-9 - Construction of a pavement digital model (MDP) of streets and highways with the data of the mobile digital mapping - called MDP Project]. The MDP of the roadway, once built, will be a technology product to assist the work of professionals responsible for the comfort quality of the streets and highways. This project is underway, after adjustments for previous and preliminary results. The methodology requires knowledge of mobile positioning methods, mathematical models for determining navigation parameters of transformation between reference systems, acquisition and processing of digital images, sensors alignment, theory of estimation and least squares adjustment, algorithmic programming techniques. The materials to be used are: Arduino platform, digital camera, MEMS inertial sensor with digital compass and GNSS navigation receiver, besides the aluminum support which will be designed according to the performance of all sensory in the laboratory stage and built by a third party specialist. The laboratory equipment will benefit of all stages before, during and after the field surveys. The main equipment is: notebook with graphics card, Windows OS, Matlab Toolbox for serial communication. The algorithmic methodology should be implemented in Matlab. The communication between the UIMAGI and the software will be through Matlab toolbox that will be interfaced by a virtual serial port through USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. The UIMAGI will be mounted in a vehicle for street and highway tests and walked around by a pedestrian operator for the electric assets tests. (AU)

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