LiDAR remote sensing
In this module you will gain a detailed understanding of the advantages and challenges of Earth observation using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems. Compared to other types of remote sensing data, the data from active Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems is of particular importance for local studies, where the 3D component (height) of objects is of relevance. Commonly LiDAR data is applied it in the field of digital terrain modelling, in forestry – e.g. for canopy height assessment, or urban structure applications. LiDAR embraces a range of active remote sensing systems mounted on different platforms, which provide valuable information for characterization of horizontal and vertical structure of the earth surface by measuring the travel time of laser pulses in visible and near-infrared spectral domains. The quality of scanning depends on the nature of the LIDAR system (discrete-return or full waveform) as well as on a set of other terrain- and data-driven factors. This course provides you with an overview on the theory and applications of LiDAR data, with a particular focus on airborne laser scanning. Following the initial theoretical sections on the principles and basic characteristics of LiDAR data, diverse practical steps and exercises will be implemented to provide real-world examples to illustrate how the LiDAR point clouds can be applied to extract information on terrain, surface and vegetation. These information will be further employed to model vegetation structural attributes on multiple spatial scales ranging from single trees to landscape levels.
Block 1: Introduction to LiDAR (how does laser scanning work?)
- Reminder on general remote sensing issues: difference between active and passive sensing
- History of LiDAR measurements
- Basics of LiDAR data measurements (platforms, sensors)
- Airborne vs. spaceborne LiDAR: history, applications and data access
- Measurement of travel time of laser light (pulsed time of flight)
- On the concept of “structure”: why a third dimension is crucial?
Block 2: Principles of LiDAR measurements
- Platform navigation, orientation and positioning
- Difference between types of data acquisitions: discrete return and echo waveform
- The recorded parameters: elevation, height, signal intensity and co.
- The concept of „single-pulse“ vs. „multiple-pulse“
- How are the incoming returns recorded? first come- first served!
- Terrestrial LiDAR measurement: one position, rotating scanner
- Data formats and big data-management: each byte matters!
Block 3: Elevation models:
- General thoughts: why are the elevation models essential?
- Digital terrain models
- Digital surface models
- Normalized DSM (Canopy height models)
- Application fields: Forest, landscape and habitat representations
- Magnified focus on Forest (basic and derived parameters): Diameter at breast height, height, tree type proportions, tree type mapping, crown closure, stem count, growing stock und aboveground biomass
- Single tree measurements
- Urban: City models, roof top and building footprints
Block 4: Exercises in Open-Source domain of LiDAR data processing (Fusion/LDV, LASTools, R)
- Exercises on point cloud processing
- Import, export, visualizations and rendering
- Sample measurements, single tree measurements and associated tasks
- Elevation models
- Data trimming, cropping, smoothing and generalizing
- Catalog and descriptive communication
- Extraction of metrics for modeling purposes
- Thoughts on metrics
- Intensity: yes or no?
- Multi-scale metric extraction
- Multi-source metric extraction
- Class works and workshops (CIP-Pool/Homework)
- Literature review, discussion groups and public presentations
Coding examples and individual work will be covered
Various software programs will be used, but mainly OpenSource software such as R.
Different techniques will be introduced and practically applied.
The content of scientific with regard to the audience will be discussed.
General Course News and Updates
Congratulations to Henrik Fisser, whose Sentinel-2 analysis on truck detection has been awarded the first prize for the European Data Cube COVID-19 contest! He uses the reflectance patterns of long moving vehicles in Sentinel-2 images. Please see the ESA webpage for...
Katrin Hasenbein will defend her M.Sc. thesis on Thursday 12am on "The potential to enhance land use mapping by leveraging processing methods of time series data". from the abstract: "With the launch of the twin satellites of Sentinel-2 time series data with a high...
We received again a high number of very good applicants and are currently working through all application files. We will invite all eligible applicants in the next weeks for an interview. In total we received 137 eligible applications from the EU as well as North and...
Aida will present on Friday, May 22nd at 2:30pm her MSc idea "Potentials of Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probes for Assessing and Mapping SAR-based Soil Moisture in a Mediterranean agro-forestry ecosystem by developing an integrated ground- and space-based Modelling Framework"....
Sebastian Buchelt successfully presented his MSc thesis - congratulations! Read more about his research project here.
Sebastian Buchelt will present his M.Sc. thesis "Analysis of High-Resolution Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Snowmelt using Orthorectified Photo Cameras, Sentinel-1 Time Series and Digital Elevation Data" in a virtual course room. From the abstract: " Snow is one of the...
Congratulation to Silvan Steiner, our first EAGLE passing with a virtual MSc defense!
On Thursday at 10am Silvan Steiner will present his M.Sc. thesis "Assessing the Potential of a Land Cover Dependent Snow Cover Detection Algorithm for the Global SnowPack". Due to the Covid19 situation his defense will be in a virtual course room. Everybody is invited...
The Covid-19 situation is also challenging for the University as well as the EAGLE program. Even though we are all in the process to adapt to this new situation, the program itself is continuing as usual. All courses, exams, MSc thesis defense and so on will take...
The upcoming book by our lecturer Jakob Schwalb-Willmann, Stefan Dech and Martin Wegmann on "Introduction to Spatial Data Analysis" with QGIS and first steps in R is available for pre-order - order now and get 30% discount. This textbook aims at students and...