16 October 2013 Determining sea surface heights using small footprint airborne laser scanning
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Small footprint airborne laser scanning (ALS) is widely used to collect topographic data over large areas. ALS point clouds provide high resolution datasets for variety of scientific and engineering applications, e.g. geomorphology, geodynamics and forestry. ALS can also be used for monitoring coastal processes. For many marine applications, however, the sea surface heights (SSH) are often requested. Satellite altimetry (SA) has been used to monitor SSH globally. But in regional scale, especially in the coastal areas and enclosed water bodies, the usability of SA is limited due to poor accuracy. Alternatively, our experiments have demonstrated that the water surface in the nadir range can be registered using small footprint ALS. Therefore, a special case study was carried out to analyze SSH determination from ALS measurements. Three profile-wise ALS measurements were carried out in the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. Along flight trajectories 100 m wide corridors of ALS points were formed. Shorter wavelength signals, like sea wave oscillation, were removed by a low-pass averaging filter. The achieved SSH were verified against a high resolution regional geoid model and also with high-frequency tide gauge observations. Comparisons revealed that the ALS-based sea level-corrected SSH agree with the regional geoid model with standard deviation as of ±1…±2 cm. Thus, small footprint ALS measurements could be applied to determine SSH in regions where SA has limited quality, e.g. in coastal areas and enclosed water bodies.
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A. Gruno, A. Gruno, A. Liibusk, A. Liibusk, A. Ellmann, A. Ellmann, T. Oja, T. Oja, A. Vain, A. Vain, H. Jürgenson, H. Jürgenson, "Determining sea surface heights using small footprint airborne laser scanning", Proc. SPIE 8888, Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water Regions 2013, 88880R (16 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2029189; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2029189


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