Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping improved the ALS50 Airborne Laser Scanner to allow data capture at pulse rates up to 83 kHz. The latest release phase of the ALS50 features other improvements, including: four range returns, including last, maximizing the probability of hitting terrain surfaces under forest cover while providing enhanced data from canopy layers; simplified operation, with full-time, four-return operation; and improved pulse rates at all flying heights, maximizing detail in captured DEMs. The ALS50 is a compact, LiDAR-based system designed to acquire topographical and return signal intensity data from numerous airborne platforms. The system computes the data using laser range and return signal intensity measurements recorded in-flight, along with position and attitude data taken from airborne GPS and inertial subsystems.

Also, Leica Geosystems released the DISTO Plus. Key features include Bluetooth wireless technology and free copies of PlusDraw and PlusXL software for Bluetooth compatible pocket PCs. Users can now reduce data transferring errors by measuring with a DISTO Plus, sketching plans with PlusDraw, capturing data using PlusXL, and transferring the data using a Bluetooth-enabled pocket PC while on the jobsite. The DISTO Plus also features Pythagoras function (triangulation); add, subtract and multiply measurements; minimum/maximum tracking; an integrated 2x telescopic viewer; a bubble level and raised buttons. The DISTO Plus is accurate from 1/16th inch up to 650 ft, does not need special targets, and holds 10,000 measurements per set of two AA batteries. (Leica Geosystems, Atlanta, Ga.)