13 May 2016 Mapping of ice, snow and water using aircraft-mounted LiDAR
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Neptec Technologies Corp. has developed a family of obscurant-penetrating 3D laser scanners (OPAL 2.0) that are being adapted for airborne platforms for operations in Degraded Visual Environments (DVE). The OPAL uses a scanning mechanism based on the Risley prism pair. Data acquisition rates can go as high as 200kHz for ranges within 240m and 25kHz for ranges exceeding 240m. The scan patterns are created by rotating two prisms under independent motor control producing a conical Field-Of-View (FOV). An OPAL laser scanner with 90° FOV was installed on a Navajo aircraft, looking down through an aperture in the aircraft floor. The rotation speeds of the Risley prisms were selected to optimize a uniformity of the data samples distribution on the ground. Flight patterns simulating a landing approach over snow and ice in an unprepared Arctic environment were also performed to evaluate the capability of the OPAL LiDAR to map snow and ice elevation distribution in real-time and highlight potential obstacles. Data was also collected to evaluate the detection of wires when flying over water, snow and ice. Main results and conclusions obtained from the flight data analysis are presented.
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Philip Church, Philip Church, Justin Matheson, Justin Matheson, Brett Owens, Brett Owens, "Mapping of ice, snow and water using aircraft-mounted LiDAR", Proc. SPIE 9839, Degraded Visual Environments: Enhanced, Synthetic, and External Vision Solutions 2016, 98390L (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223172; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223172

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