Next Article in Journal
Categorization and Conversions for Indexing Methods of Discrete Global Grid Systems
Previous Article in Journal
User-Centered Design for Interactive Maps: A Case Study in Crime Analysis
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4(1), 302-319;

Optimising Mobile Mapping System Laser Scanner Orientation

National Centre for Geocomputation, Maynooth University, County Kildare, Ireland
Amazon Data Services Ireland Ltd., County Dublin, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 19 November 2014 / Revised: 23 January 2015 / Accepted: 2 February 2015 / Published: 23 February 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5909 KB, uploaded 23 February 2015]   |  


Multiple laser scanner hardware configurations can be applied to Mobile Mapping Systems. As best practice, laser scanners are rotated horizontally or inclined vertically to increase the probability of contact between the laser scan plane and any surfaces that are perpendicular to the direction of travel. Vertical inclinations also maximise the number of scan profiles striking narrow vertical features, something that can be of use when trying to recognise features. Adding a second scanner allows an MMS to capture more data and improve laser coverage of an area by filling in laser shadows. However, in any MMS the orientation of each scanner on the platform must be decided upon. Changes in the horizontal or vertical orientations of the scanner can increase the range to vertical targets and the road surface, with excessive scanner angles lowering point density significantly. Limited information is available to assist the manufacturers or operators in identifying the optimal scanner orientation for roadside surveys. The method proposed in this paper applies 3D surface normals and geometric formulae to assess the influence of scanner orientation on point distribution. It was demonstrated that by changing the orientation of the scanner the number of pulses striking a target could be greatly increased, and the number of profiles intersecting with the target could also be increased—something that is particularly important for narrow vertical features. The importance of identifying the correct trade-off between the number of profiles intersecting with the target and the point spacing was also raised. View Full-Text
Keywords: point density; laser scanner; scanner orientation; mobile mapping systems point density; laser scanner; scanner orientation; mobile mapping systems

Graphical abstract

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. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cahalane, C.; Lewis, P.; McElhinney, C.P.; McCarthy, T. Optimising Mobile Mapping System Laser Scanner Orientation. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4, 302-319.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top