Latest Headlines

TerraPoint Unveils Upgraded LiDAR Mapping System 09.11.2003

September 11, 2003
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
TerraPoint LLC unveiled its upgraded Airborne Laser Topographic Mapping System (ALTMS) incorporating five technical advancements that enable the company to continue providing the highest quality LiDAR elevation data available on the commercial market. TerraPoint has built and upgraded four ALTMS units that are currently deployed on operational projects around the world.

“By developing and maintaining our own LiDAR systems, TerraPoint has built a reputation as a technological innovator and leader in the LiDAR industry,” said John Zeigler, TerraPoint’s Director of Engineering. “We intend to keep that technological advantage.”

As part of the upgrade, TerraPoint increased the ALTMS shot rate from 20 kilohertz to 40 kilohertz. This means the system can fly at the same altitude and get a higher density of measurement points on the ground, creating better quality data with superior feature recognition, identification and classification. Alternately, the increased shot rate allows TerraPoint to fly higher while maintaining the 20 kilohertz point density and complete the job nearly twice as fast.

“The ability to capture a higher point density while keeping costs down is of particular value in areas where penetration of dense canopy vegetation is crucial to producing an accurate bare earth elevation model,” said Jerry Harless, Coordinator for the Puget Sound LiDAR Consortium in Seattle, Wash.

The second upgrade involves a fine tuning of the ALTMS auto gain component that compensates for reduction intensity as a function of range. This results in fewer point drop-outs and sharper feature definition in extreme terrain. Thirdly, to enhance the accuracy of elevation measurement values, the TerraPoint engineering staff replaced the commercial timing circuitry with a customized component developed in-house. It more precisely measures the time lapse between laser pulse emission and return, the value of which determines ground elevation.

TerraPoint has also enhanced its all-return measurement capability, the operating feature that has traditionally given ALTMS an advantage over other LiDAR systems. While most LiDAR systems only collect first and last laser returns from the surface, TerraPoint captures up to four returns, which provides more data on intermediate structures and vegetation and, in general, a better understanding of the terrain. ALTMS is now capable of measuring the intensity of every return. This enhancement further improves the visual quality of terrain features and the end user’s ability to identify and classify them.

The fifth system enhancement is a conversion of the ALTMS onboard user interface to a Microsoft/Intel environment. The new interface makes it easier for the onboard operator to run and calibrate the LiDAR during airborne operations. In addition, the new Intel architecture provides more CPU capacity and will extend the system life cycle.

“These upgrades, combined with our advanced software calibration processes, allow us to provide the highest-quality LiDAR data available today,” says John Zeigler.

As the developer of its own LiDAR systems, TerraPoint maintains an in-house staff of engineers and scientists who continually look for ways to enhance the onboard acquisition and ground processing systems. This has enabled TerraPoint to distinguish itself in the surface mapping market with cutting-edge technology and high-quality data standards.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to POB

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

HxGN Live

More than 3,500 attendees from more than 70 countries attended HxGN Live, the annual Hexagon AB user conference, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 3-6. About 450 keynotes and panel discussions were held, and several companies from around the world exhibited their geospatial products. Here are a few snapshots from the event.


POB January 2015 Cover

2015 January

In this January 2015 issue of POB, we take a look at integrated technologies that provide real-time 3D measurements of a Brisbane construction site.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

With the unmanned aerial system (UAS) presence growing in surveying, you will in 2015:
View Results Poll Archive

Point of Beginning Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\POB\epubsite\Statues-pic-large.gif
Surveyor Statues

The perfect gift or award for any special occasion.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook logo Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logoRPLS small logo

Google +

Geo Locator

Buyers Guide

The #1 buyers' guide for land surveyors and geomatics professionals. Search listings for software and equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers and professional services. CLICK HERE to view GeoLocator.