JOURNAL OF GEODESY, vol.92, no.10, pp.1113-1130, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
A new method through Gauss-Helmert model of adjustment is presented for the solution of the similarity transformations, either 3D or 2D, in the frame of errors-in-variables (EIV) model. EIV model assumes that all the variables in the mathematical model are contaminated by random errors. Total least squares estimation technique may be used to solve the EIV model. Accounting for the heteroscedastic uncertainty both in the target and the source coordinates, that is the more common and general case in practice, leads to a more realistic estimation of the transformation parameters. The presented algorithm can handle the heteroscedastic transformation problems, i.e., positions of the both target and the source points may have full covariance matrices. Therefore, there is no limitation such as the isotropic or the homogenous accuracy for the reference point coordinates. The developed algorithm takes the advantage of the quaternion definition which uniquely represents a 3D rotation matrix. The transformation parameters: scale, translations, and the quaternion (so that the rotation matrix) along with their covariances, are iteratively estimated with rapid convergence. Moreover, prior least squares (LS) estimation of the unknown transformation parameters is not required to start the iterations. We also show that the developed method can also be used to estimate the 2D similarity transformation parameters by simply treating the problem as a 3D transformation problem with zero (0) values assigned for the z-components of both target and source points. The efficiency of the new algorithm is presented with the numerical examples and comparisons with the results of the previous studies which use the same data set. Simulation experiments for the evaluation and comparison of the proposed and the conventional weighted LS (WLS) method is also presented.