Changes represent a 10 percent improvement in point density and reduce the minimum flying height to levels typical of helicopter operation in corridor mapping applications.

Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping LLC announced a series of significant performance increases to its Leica ALS50 Airborne Laser Scanner. The changes represent a 10 percent improvement in point density over currently available competing systems and reduce the minimum flying height to levels typical of helicopter operation in corridor mapping applications.

The improvements include:

  • An increase in maximum pulse rate to 58 kHz, allowing higher data density and tighter post spacing (up to four points per square meter with a 226 m swath and better than 0.9 m post spacing).
  • A reduction in minimum flying height, from 500 m AGL to only 200 m AGL, for ultra high density profiling and line-of-sight navigation in corridor mapping applications (up to 16 points per square meter with a 56 m swath).
  • Improved multiple-return discrimination, allowing targets to be detected with as little as 2.7 m vertical separation, resulting in an increased number of “ground hits” when profiling over low vegetation.

The Leica ALS50 Airborne Laser Scanner is a compact, LIDAR-based system designed for the acquisition of topographical and return signal intensity data from numerous airborne platforms. The data is computed using laser range and return signal intensity measurements recorded in-flight, along with position and attitude data derived from airborne GPS and inertial subsystems.

“These improvements are just one group of advances in a continuous stream of developments, virtually all of which can be added to existing systems in a cost-effective manner,” said Martin Tremp, Vice President, Business Development and Product Management, Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping. “This is a dramatic example of how our engineering staff has been able to develop new technologies that can both attract new users as well as keep the fleet of installed systems competitive in a market where technical development occurs at a rapid rate.”

The improvements are now available on all ALS50 systems, as well as in upgrade packages for most existing ALS40 units.