In the race to achieve better, faster and cheaper 3D laser scan data, RIEGL is in a class of its own. The company’s philosophy isn’t simply to innovate, but to do so in a way that provides the best possible sensors for each application and fully supports its customers. It’s what Dr. Johannes Riegl, CEO of RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH headquartered in Horn, Austria, calls an “incessant pursuit of excellence.”

At the RIEGL LiDAR 2012 conference held in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 27-28, the company’s leaders shared insights on RIEGL’s technology and approach. Dr. Riegl pointed out that the company has been a major player in laser scanning since 1996, when it released its first 2D laser scanner for airborne and mobile mapping, the LMS-Q140. Other innovations quickly followed, and by 1998, RIEGL had developed a 3D laser scanner, the LMS-Z210, for surveying and for industrial applications.

Research and development continues to be a high priority for the technology-oriented company. In the last three years alone, RIEGL has registered 26 inventions at the Austrian Patent Office. In January 2012, the company was honored by the Austrian Patent Office and the Austrian publishing company Bohmann with the Inventum 2011 award for a device and method for determining the exact timing and amplitude of an incoming signal—a principle that allows RIEGL’s V-line scanners to simultaneously provide high timing accuracy and resolution along with a high dynamic range.

Some of the company’s technology advances have been met with skepticism. For example, Dr. Andreas Ullrich, CTO, noted that the full waveform analysis capabilities of RIEGL’s echo digitizing LiDAR technology are considered by some to be theoretical and impractical. However, he said, the technology is in everyday use by numerous service providers and delivers the best resolution with a host of additional valuable attributes. These statements were substantiated by the many users who shared their experiences at the conference, both in formal presentations and informal discussions.

Where will RIEGL go next? Look for continued software advances from company as it seeks to further streamline and optimize users’ workflow. Additional technology innovations are also on the horizon, including some exciting developments in unmanned airborne systems (UAVs). Above all else, look for RIEGL’s unwavering dedication to excellence to continue to raise the bar for performance in the laser scanning market.