Responsible: Dr. Ing. Carlo Matzuzzi Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria – CNR  
c/o DICAAR, Facoltà d’Ingegneria Via Marengo 2
09123 Cagliari (Italy)    
Telefono: +39 070 6755541
email:  -




IGAG Aerophotogrammetry laboratory

The IGAG Cagliari Department laboratory for applied aerophotogrammetry 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.

Available multirotors have been assembled with Mikrokopter Gmbh electronics, and regularly implemented during the last five years, as a result of our knowledge developed in the field.

The IGAG CNR 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.

Elaboration of the photogrammetry image datasets produces high detailed digital models for mapping, at different spatial scales.


RPAS Operator

CNR-IGAG Sede Secondaria di Cagliari, Rif. ENAC: 13944 del 19/09/2017, prot.n. APR-2017-0005625


Drone Pilots

Dr. Stefano Cara VL/Mc CRO – ENAC Certificate n. I.APRA.004629
Dr. Ing. Carlo Matzuzzi VL/Mc CRO - ENAC Certificate n. I.APRA.004632



IGAG-CNR Aerophotogrammetry research

 The IGAG-CNR, 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 aerophotogrammetry 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 (, 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 IGAG-CNR researchers, 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.


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 the surface erosion control and its evolution, that 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.


3D documentation of Cultural Heritage. This archaeological site have 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 valorisation projects. Furthermore, the 3D reconstruction is a useful tool for the virtualization of the Cultural Heritage and the fruition of the research documentation for the scientific community and for educational purpose.

RPAS proximal sensing application on ancient quarries.


The application of proximal sensing for photogrammetry survey 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 artefacts 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 valorisation projects.  


Field Activities

RPAS Proximal Sensing

RPAS Photogrammetric Surveys

RPAS Aerial Documentation and Monitoring

RPAS 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.


Dr. Ing. Carlo Matzuzzi
IGAG-CNR UOS di Cagliari
c/o DICAAR, Facoltà d’Ingegneria
Via Marengo 2                                    
09123 Cagliari (Italy)    
Tel +39 070 6755541
Fax +39 070 6755523


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