UM team receives €50,000 grant for 3D model reconstruction

(source: Unsplash/NASA)

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A team from the Data Science Research Platform (DSRP) at the University of Malta (UM) has received a €50,000 grant to develop 3D reconstruction models using optical images captured by the Pléiades satellite, in the framework of the Satellite Training and Networking (SATINET) project, according to a press statement sent to Business Malta.

SATINET is a collaborative project between the University of Malta and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), funded by the MCST-CNES bilateral funding programme. The principal investigator on this project is Dr Reuben Farrugia, from the Department of Communications and Computer Engineering.

“Part of the funding will be used to award an MSc scholarship on a collaborative project with CNES, which scholarship will be partly financed through the SATINET project and the other part will be financed by CNES. The student will work for six months at CNES,” the University of Malta confirmed on a Business Malta enquiry.

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The Pyramid of Khafre and a glacier in Iceland. 3D point clouds are automatically generated from Pléiades stereo optical images using Stereo Vision techniques. (source: University of Malta)

Pléiades is the first satellite that captures three consecutive high-resolution images of the same region within a relatively short time-frame enabling researchers to use computer vision techniques to estimate the elevation of objects from the land surface, according to the press statement. Nevertheless, the 3D reconstruction method has an inherent error margin and can also introduce distortions in the models, the press statement notes.

SATINET is funded by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST)-CNES bilateral funding programme. CNES is France’s national space agency with its headquarters in Paris and is under the supervision of the French Ministries of Defence and Research.

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