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Proceedings Paper

ATLAS: an airborne active linescan system for high-resolution topographic mapping
Author(s): David V. Willetts; Peter J. Kightley; S. G. Mole; Guy N. Pearson; P. Pearson; Adrian S. Coffey; Tim J. Stokes; Paul R. Tapster; M. Westwood
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Paper Abstract

High resolution ground mapping is of interest for survey and management of long linear features such as roads, railways and pipelines, and for georeferencing of areas such as flood plains for hydrological purposes. ATLAS (Airborne Topographic Laser System) is an active linescan system operating at the eyesafe wavelength of 1.5μm. Built for airborne survey, it is currently certified for use on a Twin Squirrel helicopter for operation from low levels to heights above 500 feet allowing commercial survey in built up areas. The system operates at a pulse repetition frequency of 56kHz with a line completed in 15ms, giving 36 points/m2 at the surface at the design flight speed. At each point the range to the ground is measured together with the scan angle of the system. This data is combined with a system attitude measurement from an integrated inertial navigation system and with system position derived from differential GPS data aboard the platform. A recording system captures the data with a synchronised time-stamp to enable post-processed reconstruction of a cloud of data points that will give a three-dimensional representation of the terrain, allowing the points to be located with respect to absolute Earth referenced coordinates to a precision of 5cm in three axes. This paper summarises the design, harmonisation, evaluation and performance of the system, and shows examples of survey data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5613, Military Remote Sensing, (8 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.578052
Show Author Affiliations
David V. Willetts, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Peter J. Kightley, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
S. G. Mole, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Guy N. Pearson, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
P. Pearson, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Adrian S. Coffey, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Tim J. Stokes, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
Paul R. Tapster, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)
M. Westwood, QinetiQ (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5613:
Military Remote Sensing
Gary W. Kamerman; David V. Willetts, Editor(s)

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