Structure-from-motion with SkySat Video


Unique among commercial sensors, the SkySats are capable of full-motion, panchromatic video from space. Ramon Arrowsmith, professor of Geology at Arizona State University decomposed one SkySat video to produce 3D models.

As Ramon notes in his Active Tectonics Blog, SkySat captured video over a large open pit mine in Uşak, Turkey. Parallax—the changing perspective of the satellite as it orbits over its target—reveals the 3D structure of the mine to the naked eye.

Using MATLAB to extract video frames and then determine the relative satellite position of each frame, Ramon was able to construct a 3D model of the mine.


Arrowsmith produced a 3D wire frame of the open pit mine after decomposing the SkySat video using structure-from-motion.

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