chapter  5
20 Pages

Pulsed Laser Altimeter Ranging Techniques and Implications for Terrain Mapping

WithDavid Harding

This chapter focuses on the physical principles of the operation and the resulting effects of laser ranging. Laser ranging methods are examined focusing on the most commonly employed type of laser altimeter technology that uses pulsed laser light. Waveform recording systems and those that generate point clouds are described. For the latter type, discrete return and single-photon detection approaches are addressed. Relationships between ranging methods, instrument parameters, and the character of the resulting elevation data are considered. The emphasis is on vegetated landscapes and, in particular, the measurement of ground topography beneath vegetation cover and characterization of forest canopy structure.