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LIDAR Data Filtering and DTM Interpolation Within GRASS

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LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is one of the most recent technologies in surveying and mapping. LIDAR is based on the combination of three different data collection tools: a laser scanner mounted on an aircraft, a Global Positioning System (GPS) used in phase differential kinematic modality to provide the sensor position and an Inertial Navigation System (INS) to provide the orientation. The laser sends towards the ground an infrared signal, which is reflected back to the sensor. The time employed by the signal, given the aircraft position and attitude, allows computation of the earth point elevation. In standard conditions, taking into account the flight (speed 200–250 km/hour, altitude 500–2,000 m) and sensor characteristics (scan angle ± 10–20 degrees, emission rate 2,000–50,000 pulses per second), earth elevations are collected within a density of one point every 0.5–3 m. The technology allows us therefore to obtain very accurate (5–20 cm) and high resolution Digital Surface Models (DSM). For many applications, the Digital Terrain Model (DTM) is needed: we have to automatically detect and discard from the previous DSM all the features (buildings, trees, etc.) present on the terrain. This paper describes a procedure that has been implemented within GRASS to construct DTMs from LIDAR source data.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Politecnico di Milano – Campus Como

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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