Very Cool Airborne Optical Sectioning Now Available for DJI Aircraft

Last year I interviewed Professor Oliver Bimber regarding the new technology his team was developing to allow drones to see thru trees. It actually does not make the cameras magical, but it kind of does.

To learn more about this technology that can help you find targets obscured by vegetation, see Airborne Optical Sectioning – We Can See Through Trees .

It is still early days for this software technology but Professor Bimber has just announced AOS support for DJI drones.

He said, “AOS is a wide synthetic-aperture imaging technique that employs manned or unmanned aircraft, to sample images within large (synthetic aperture) areas from above occluded volumes, such as forests.

Based on the poses of the aircraft during capturing, these images are computationally combined to integral images by light-field technology. These integral images suppress strong occlusion and reveal targets that remain hidden in single recordings.

After releasing the source code in November 2020, I’m happy to announce AOS support for DJI drones.

We have developed a DJI compatible app that integrates AOS to support blue light organizations and others in testing and evaluating airborne optical sectioning for their use cases. The new app is compatible with most DJI systems, and is free for non-commercial usage. Currently, it supports only RGB imaging –which is very limiting if not enough sunlight penetrates through the vegetation and is reflected by the target. Thermal imaging has to be used instead to overcome this limitation. As soon as we have access to DJI Enterprise systems, we will extend the app to support multi-channel (thermal+RGB) imaging.

The app can be downloaded here.”

If you are interested in bleeding-edge solutions, give it a try.