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ALS Research

Further development of archaeological airborne laser scanning

The main objective of this field of LBI ArchPro research is to advance the application of full-waveform (FWF) airborne laser scanning (ALS) systems for archaeological prospection. This young technology shows considerable advantages for the generation of digital terrain models (DTM) in vegetated areas compared to traditional methods, as the FWF-parameters improve classification of ALS data into terrain and off-terrain points, resulting in greater DTM quality and higher potential for the subsequent archaeological interpretation.

The complex interaction of the laser beam with different types of vegetation cover and the integrated geo-referencing of repetitive multi-seasonal ALS and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data sets provide the background for investigations targeting the enhancement of the archaeological potential of the method. As FWF-ALS displays a high potential for archaeological applications, several key topics, such as the evaluation of the data acquisition time-frame and various techniques for advanced classification of the acquired point cloud data, are investigated regarding the archaeological preconditions.

Geo-referencing and advanced DTM generation


Repeated test-flights have been undertaken within the case study areas in order to investigate the optimum time frame for data acquisition. The focus in data processing is sophisticated geo-referencing and advanced DTM generation. Investigating the radiometric calibration of the laser signals adds for the first time actively produced near-infrared ortho-photography to the topographic data, enhancing the interpretation potential of the collected data. New methodological topics are investigated and a toolbox for archaeological ALS processing and visualisation is created as main output to make the results available to the interpreting archaeologist.