Interactive Media Systems, TU Wien

Vision-Based Long-Range 3D Tracking, applied to Underground Surveying Tasks

By Annette Mossel, Georg Gerstweiler, Emanuel Vonach, Klaus Chmelina, and Hannes Kaufmann


To address the need of highly automated positioning systems in underground construction, we present a long-range 3D tracking system based on infrared optical markers. It provides continuous 3D position estimation of static or kinematic targets with low latency over a tracking volume of 12x8x70m (width x height x depth). Over the entire volume, relative 3D point accuracy with a maximal deviation ≤22 mm is ensured with possible target rotations of yaw, pitch = 0 − 45 and roll = 0 − 360 . No preliminary sighting of target(s) is necessary since the system automatically locks onto a target without user intervention and autonomously starts tracking as soon as a target is within the view of the system. The proposed system needs a minimal hardware setup, consisting of two machine vision cameras and a standard workstation for data processing. This allows for quick installation with minimal disturbance of construction work. The data processing pipeline ensures camera calibration and tracking during on-going underground activities. Tests in real underground scenarios prove the system´s capabilities to act as 3D position measurement platform for multiple underground tasks that require long range, low latency and high accuracy. Those tasks include simultaneously tracking of personnel, machines or robots.


A. Mossel, G. Gerstweiler, E. Vonach, K. Chmelina, H. Kaufmann: "Vision-Based Long-Range 3D Tracking, applied to Underground Surveying Tasks"; Journal of Applied Geodesy, 8 (2014), 1; 43 - 64.


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