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.
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