People Detection and Tracking from Aerial Thermal Views

Jan Portmann, Simon Lynen, Margarita Chli, Roland Siegwart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Detection and tracking of people in visible-light images has been subject to extensive research in the past decades with applications ranging from surveillance to search-and-rescue. Following the growing availability of thermal cameras and the distinctive thermal signature of humans, research effort has been focusing on developing people detection and tracking methodologies applicable to this sensing modality. However, a plethora of challenges arise on the transition from visible-light to thermal images, especially with the recent trend of employing thermal cameras onboard aerial platforms (e.g. in search-and-rescue research) capturing oblique views of the scenery. This paper presents a new, publicly available dataset of annotated thermal image sequences, posing a multitude of challenges for people detection and tracking. Moreover, we propose a new particle filter based framework for tracking people in aerial thermal images. Finally, we evaluate the performance of this pipeline on our dataset, incorporating a selection of relevant, state-of-the-art methods and present a comprehensive discussion of the merits spawning from our study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Pages1794 - 1800
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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