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Applied Photogrammetry Laboratory

The IGAG Cagliari Unit laboratory for Applied photogrammetry is equipped with RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) for proximal sensing survey and monitoring, and several dedicated hardware and software for photogrammetry processing, 3D mapping and 3D modelling. The laboratory activity is involved in developing new methodologies for proximal remote sensing, with suitable multirotor systems, for hazardous areas with issues of accessibility and security. The goal is a documentation of hazardous sites, structures and buildings of historical interest in abandoned mining areas, archaeological sites and monuments. Environmental and landscape fields of research are also considered.

The CNR-IGAG have been registered by ENAC as authorized professional operator, as well as its crew (Pilots) and RPAS, according to the current regulations. Our survey systems are equipped with high-resolution digital cameras (Full frame, APS-C sensors) and multispectral (RGB+NIR) allowing very detailed proximal aerial surveys. With our workstations the photogrammetry image datasets can be elaborate to produces high detailed 3D digital models and terrain mapping, at different spatial scales.

Location + _

CNR–IGAG, c/o Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile Ambientale e Architettura - Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Via Marengo 2 - 09123 Cagliari (CA)

Scientific manager + _

Dr. Eng. Carlo Matzuzzi 

Security officer + _
Dr. Carlo Matzuzzi
Telephone + _
+39. 070.6755541
RPAS Operator + _

ENAC SAPR: CNR-IGAG - Codice D-flight: ITA-caqg3238pkenl

UNITS: Roma, Milano and Cagliari.

Drone Pilots + _

IGAG - Cagliari UNIT

Dr. Stefano Cara - Attestato A2 Open Sub Category - ITA-RP-000002248abf

Dr. Ing. Carlo Matzuzzi - Attestato A2 Open Sub Category – ITA-RP-000002182abe

RPAS, telescopic mast, high-resolution digital cameras (Full frame, APS-C sensors) and multispectral (RGB+NIR), workstations, photogrammetric software, CAD and photo editing software

Stefano Cara,  Carlo MatzuzziInterazione tra uomo e ambiente nella evoluzione del paesaggio costiero antico della Sardegna(2019)European Heritage Days 2019 – Le cave antiche di Arenaria del Sinis: primi risultati di una ricerca interdisciplinare, Giornate Europee del Patrimonio” (#GEP2019), Cabras (OR), 21 settembre 2019. 

Stefano Cara, Carlo MatzuzziRealizzazione di un Rilievo Aerofotogrammetrico con l’uso di SAPR e relativi elaborati digitali 3D del Complesso Nuragico Sa Domu ‘e S’Orcu, Domusnovas (SU)” (2019). 

Stefano Cara, Sandro Fadda, Maddalena Fiori, Carlo Matzuzzi “Evaluation of Raw Materials in Abandoned Kaolin Quarry as Potential Geopolymers ICMEG 2018: 20th International Conference on Mining and Economic Geology, London United Kingdom, May 14-15, 2018.  

Stefano Cara, Sandro Fadda, Fiori Maddalena, Carlo Matzuzzi “Unmanned aerial vehicle system-based remote sensing for monitoring landscape degradation” SGEM 2017: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference, Albena Complex, Varna, Bulgaria, 27 June – 6 July, 2017. 

The CNR-IGAG, with particular reference to its headquarters in Cagliari, is involved in researches and development of methodologies focused on RPAS proximal sensing for photogrammetry. These researches find particular application on the environmental survey, for documentation of Cultural Heritage and landscape visualisation, for mine and industrial sites assessment, for inspection of infrastructures in urban and extra-urban areas.

Our photogrammetry survey team can also be involved to support intervention strategies in emergency situations to document scenarios resulting from exceptional events and natural disasters. During the last years our research performed the application of several photogrammetric elaboration methods, using different commercial software. Among these, RealityCapture software has proved to be an excellent tool for our purposes. This software is developed by Capturing Reality s.r.o. based in Bratislava, Slovakia (https://www.capturingreality.com/), with which we are pursuing a fruitful collaboration relationship. Reality Capture has, among its peculiarities, the possibility to obtain photogrammetric models of high quality and precision with very short processing times (compared to other commercial software) using large datasets containing heterogeneous images, also acquired with different types of optical sensors. RealityCapture is an all-in-one photogrammetry software solution which automatically extracts accurate 3D models from a set of ordinary images and/or laser scans. It is a unique piece of software which pushes the envelope of what can be done with photogrammetric methods. Moreover, it is the only software which is able to mix lasers and photos in one step easily without seams and limitations. RealityCapture is known and recognized for its incredible speed and superior quality and accuracy. 

The research in the 3D reconstruction field developed by CNR-IGAG researchers of Cagliari headquarters , with the support of the Capturing Reality Company, has allowed to define a fast and effective method, applicable in various contexts in which a precision 3D mapping and modelling is required.

Research activity

RPAS proximal sensing application on Quarries

Study of an abandoned open pit mine. An evaluation of abandoned mine site degradation through a detailed photogrammetric survey was performed with our RPAS. The study was focused mainly on surface erosion control and its evolution, which caused deep drainage and transformation of the landscape, followed by the transportation of material outside of the mining area. The comparison of multi-temporal digital models allowed an accurate analysis of the surface erosion and accumulation processes and, in the stockpiles areas, to evaluate potential volumes of raw material still in place inside the quarry area.

RPAS proximal sensing application on Cultural Heritage

3D documentation of Cultural Heritage. This archaeological site has been investigated, planning a detailed photogrammetric survey, using our multirotor systems. This allowed to carry out a detailed 3D model documentation, showing the geometrical, dimensional characteristics and the conservation assessment, as support to possible restoration interventions and valorization projects. Furthermore, the 3D reconstruction is a useful tool for the virtualization of Cultural Heritage and the fruition of the research documentation for the scientific community and for educational purposes.

RPAS proximal sensing application on ancient quarries

The application of proximal sensing for photogrammetry surveys on ancient quarries is an effective tool for producing detailed DSM and 3D reconstructions in order to obtain metrological data. This allows to investigate on stone extraction techniques, evaluate volumes of exploited materials and debris accumulation, geometrical and dimensional characteristics of the stone artifacts production. The RPAS photogrammetric application in this field of research is also useful to evaluate the archaeological heritage interactions with environmental processes, as support of the measures of protection and for possible valorization projects.


Field Activities

RPAS Proximal Sensing

RPAS and Ground Photogrammetric Surveys

RPAS Aerial Documentation and Monitoring

RPAS and Ground Inspections

Lab photogrammetric elaboration

Orthophotos, Dense point clouds, DSM, Geo-referenced 3D models, 3D model reconstruction textured, documentation and photographs.

Photogrammetric 3D objects and artefacts reconstruction.