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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(5), 4109-4132; doi:10.3390/rs6054109
Article

Calibrated Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Scanning for 3D Object Segmentation

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Received: 31 January 2014; in revised form: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 2 May 2014
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Abstract: Segmentation of urban features is considered a major research challenge in the fields of photogrammetry and remote sensing. However, the dense datasets now readily available through airborne laser scanning (ALS) offer increased potential for 3D object segmentation. Such potential is further augmented by the availability of full-waveform (FWF) ALS data. FWF ALS has demonstrated enhanced performance in segmentation and classification through the additional physical observables which can be provided alongside standard geometric information. However, use of FWF information is not recommended without prior radiometric calibration, taking into account all parameters affecting the backscatter energy. This paper reports the implementation of a radiometric calibration workflow for FWF ALS data, and demonstrates how the resultant FWF information can be used to improve segmentation of an urban area. The developed segmentation algorithm presents a novel approach which uses the calibrated backscatter cross-section as a weighting function to estimate the segmentation similarity measure. The normal vector and the local Euclidian distance are used as criteria to segment the point clouds through a region growing approach. The paper demonstrates the potential to enhance 3D object segmentation in urban areas by integrating the FWF physical backscattered energy alongside geometric information. The method is demonstrated through application to an interest area sampled from a relatively dense FWF ALS dataset. The results are assessed through comparison to those delivered from utilising only geometric information. Validation against a manual segmentation demonstrates a successful automatic implementation, achieving a segmentation accuracy of 82%, and out-performs a purely geometric approach.
Keywords: airborne laser scanning; lidar; full-waveform; calibration; segmentation airborne laser scanning; lidar; full-waveform; calibration; segmentation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Abed, F.M.; Mills, J.P.; Miller, P.E. Calibrated Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Scanning for 3D Object Segmentation. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 4109-4132.

AMA Style

Abed FM, Mills JP, Miller PE. Calibrated Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Scanning for 3D Object Segmentation. Remote Sensing. 2014; 6(5):4109-4132.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abed, Fanar M.; Mills, Jon P.; Miller, Pauline E. 2014. "Calibrated Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Scanning for 3D Object Segmentation." Remote Sens. 6, no. 5: 4109-4132.


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