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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Resolving range ambiguities in high-repetition rate airborne light detection and ranging applications
Author(s): Peter Rieger; Andreas Ullrich
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Paper Abstract

Correctly determining a measurement range in light detection and ranging instruments, based on time-of-flight measurements on laser pulses, requires the association of each received echo pulse with its causative emitted laser pulse. Without further precautions, this definite association is only possible under specific conditions constraining the usability of range finders and laser scanners with very high measurement rates. We give an introduction to known techniques for avoiding and resolving range ambiguities. The specific disadvantages of these methods led to the development of a technique based on pulse-position modulation (PPM) of the laser pulse train using a pseudorandom noise signal and the subsequent analysis of the impact of the PPM on groups of consecutive range measurements. The error probability of our approach has been evaluated by simulations based on real scan data. The use of a discrete uniform distribution of amplitudes as a modulation signal shows high detection robustness even for difficult terrain like forest areas. The encouraging results of the simulations led to the practical implementation of PPM to our laser scanners and the development of the associated software RiMTA, which resolves range ambiguities without the necessity of a priori information on the target situation and without any user interaction required.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2012
PDF: 17 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 6(1) 063552 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.6.063552
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 6, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Rieger, RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH (Austria)
Andreas Ullrich, RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH (Austria)


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