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14 May 2012 A LADAR bare earth extraction technique for diverse topography and complex scenes
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Bare earth extraction is an important component to LADAR data analysis in terms of terrain classification. The challenge in providing accurate digital models is augmented when there is diverse topography within the data set or complex combinations of vegetation and built structures. A successful approach provides a flexible methodology (adaptable for topography and/or environment) that is capable of integrating multiple ladar point cloud data attributes. A newly developed approach (TE-SiP) uses a 2nd and 3rd order spatial derivative for each point in the DEM to determine sets of contiguous regions of similar elevation. Specifically, the derivative of the central point represents the curvature of the terrain at that position. Contiguous sets of high (positive or negative) values define sharp edges such as building edges or cliffs. This method is independent of the slope, such that very steep, but continuous topography still have relatively low curvature values and are preserved in the terrain classification. Next, a recursive segmentation method identifies unique features of homogeneity on the surface separated by areas of high curvature. An iterative selection process is used to eliminate regions containing buildings or vegetation from the terrain surface. This technique was tested on a variety of existing LADAR surveys, each with varying levels of topographic complexity. The results shown here include developed and forested regions in the Dominican Republic.
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Amy L. Neuenschwander, Terry H. Stevenson, and Lori A. Magruder "A LADAR bare earth extraction technique for diverse topography and complex scenes", Proc. SPIE 8379, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVII, 83790E (14 May 2012);

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