To generate useful ground imagery from cameras mounted on our kites, we will likely record a succession of images that can then be “stitched” together into a panorama. As an early test, we combined 32 low (VGA) resolution images from the pan/tilt webcam in the boat shop to produce the images here.
Creating coverage of the ground from a kite will be a similar process, so this is a promising result. The projection of the 3D world into a 2D image inherently results in apparent distortion, and the distortion becomes more noticeable as the width of the panorama increases. These images demonstrate two different projections into 2D space, which cause different type of distortion in each case. If the kite is high enough in the air, then a 2D projection will be closer to the 3D reality and we can expect less distortion by using a simple orthographic projection that looks like a map.
To generate composite panorama images, we used the free and opensource tool hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/), which is a front-end for Panorama Tools (http://panotools.sourceforge.net/). Both are powerful software packages designed for production and research, yet have also been easy to start using.Return to News