As laser scanning technology has improved a lot in recent years, terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) have become popular devices for surveying tasks with high accuracy demands, such as deformation analyses. For this reason, finding a stochastic model for TLS measurements is very important in order to get statistically reliable results. The measurement accuracy of laser scanners—especially of their rangefinders—is strongly dependent on the scanning conditions, such as the scan configuration, the object surface geometry and the object reflectivity. This study demonstrates a way to determine the intensity-dependent range precision of 3D points for terrestrial laser scanners that measure in 3D mode by using range residuals in laser beam direction of a best plane fit. This method does not require special targets or surfaces aligned perpendicular to the scanner, which allows a much quicker and easier determination of the stochastic properties of the rangefinder. Furthermore, the different intensity types—raw and scaled—intensities are investigated since some manufacturers only provide scaled intensities. It is demonstrated that the intensity function can be derived from raw intensity values as written in literature, and likewise—in a restricted measurement volume—from scaled intensity values if the raw intensities are not available.
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