1 September 1990 Water surface detection strategy for an airborne laser bathymeter
Author Affiliations +
Proceedings Volume 1302, Ocean Optics X; (1990); doi: 10.1117/12.21474
Event: 1990 Technical Symposium on Optics, Electro-Optics, and Sensors, 1990, Orlando, FL, United States
An algorithm is described for estimating wave heights and correcting measured local depths to the mean water level for an airborne laser bathymetry system utilizing collinear infrared and green beams. The wave heights are referenced to a mean surface derived from laser slant ranges plus vertical accelerometer data to isolate long period swell from aircraft motion. Performance of the technique under nominal operating conditions is characterized through detailed error analyses. It is seen that filters as long as several hundred seconds can be used to determine mean water level - as might be needed, for example, in the presence of swell crests parallel to the flight line. Use of the accelerometer also permits a sufficiently accurate mean water surface to be maintained for about 6 seconds without update by local surface slant range detections. This allows depths to be calculated for pulses whose surface returns are not detected. The use of slant ranges to calibrate system alignment parameters is demonstrated. Comparisons are made with an alternative approach used in the Australian LADS system.
© (1990) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert W. L. Thomas, Gary C. Guenther, "Water surface detection strategy for an airborne laser bathymeter", Proc. SPIE 1302, Ocean Optics X, (1 September 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.21474; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.21474

Error analysis

Infrared radiation


Ocean optics


Airborne laser technology

Signal detection

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