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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(1), 167-184; doi:10.3390/rs3010167

Terrestrial Laser Scanner Resolution: Numerical Simulations and Experiments on Spatial Sampling Optimization

1,* , 2
1 Sezione di Bologna, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, via Creti, 12, I-40128 Bologna, Italy 2 Dipartimento di Geoscienze, Università di Padova, via Gradenigo, 6, I-35131 Padova, Italy 3 Dipartimento di Architettura e Pianificazione Territoriale, viale Risorgimento, 2, I-40136 Bologna, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2010 / Revised: 4 January 2011 / Accepted: 7 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terrestrial Laser Scanning)
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An empirical approach is proposed in order to evaluate the largest spot spacing allowing the appropriate resolution to recognize the required surface details in a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) survey. The suitable combination of laser beam divergence and spot spacing for the effective scanning angular resolution has been studied by numerical simulation experiments with an artificial target taken from distances between 25 m and 100 m, and observations of real surfaces. The tests have been performed by using the Optech ILRIS-3D instrument. Results show that the discrimination of elements smaller than a third of the beam divergence (D) is not possible and that the ratio between the used spot-spacing (ss) and the element size (TS) is linearly related to the acquisition range. The zero and first order parameters of this linear trend are computed and used to solve for the maximum efficient ss at defined ranges for a defined TS. Despite the fact that the parameters are obtained for the Optech ILRIS-3D scanner case, and depend on its specific technical data and performances, the proposed method has general validity and it can be used to estimate the corresponding parameters for other instruments. The obtained results allow the optimization of a TLS survey in terms of acquisition time and surface details recognition.
Keywords: instruments; LiDAR; terrestrial laser scanning; resolution; spatial sampling instruments; LiDAR; terrestrial laser scanning; resolution; spatial sampling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Pesci, A.; Teza, G.; Bonali, E. Terrestrial Laser Scanner Resolution: Numerical Simulations and Experiments on Spatial Sampling Optimization. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 167-184.

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