Geospatial Insight have developed TankWatch; an information product that uses proprietary software to measure and calculate the volumetric capacity and fill level of oil tanks with floating lids from satellite imagery.
To generate tank capacity measurements, the software measures planar distances between tank features that automatically detected using spectral profiles from the processed ortho-image. These planimetric measurements are ingested into an algorithm that converts the distances into three-dimensional information by considering image meta-information such pixel resolution, image off-nadir capture angle and satellite azimuth at the time of acquisition.
This approach can subsequently be used to measure the fill volumes by measuring the floating lid displacement for each tank. The semi-autonomous procedure allows for real-time QA of results and in measurement refinement by an experienced image analyst.
Once the volumetric capacity has been determined for a tank, it is then suitable for fill volume estimation using Shadow Positioning Analysis. With this approach the algorithm automatically locates tank wall shadows that are cast across the floating lid and calculates the relative displacement of the shadow from its origin to determine the floating lid depression and corresponding fill estimate.
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