Over the past five years the potential utility for 3-D laser radar (LIDAR) to support urban warfare initiatives has grown rapidly. Currently, every major U.S. defense agency, supporting geo-spatial analysis and urban warfare, is now actively using or investigating the potential for high-resolution 3-D LIDAR terrain in future operations. Airborne LIDAR data are now commonly collected with an average spatial posting of 1 meter to 5 cm.
The Joint Programs, Sustainment and Development Project Office (JPSD-PO) has contributed significantly to the rapid collection of high-resolution urban terrain using LIDAR sensor technology. JPSD has collected LIDAR data in support of Department of Defense activities throughout the world. Currently, the Urban Recon ACTD is creating the next generation LIDAR sensors for use in tactical environments. Advancements in flash LIDAR data collection and the integration of a complete LIDAR sensor under the Urban Recon ACTD will be examined.
The Urban Recon Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstration (ACTD) has integrated a high rate 3-D laser scanner with an Inertial Navigation System (INS). The moving vehicle LIDAR sensors capture the entire street-level scene in 3-D including people, cars, building windows, doorways, and the entire gamut of urban clutter. The vehicle can travel at speeds of 20-30 mph collecting 5cm - 10cm resolution 3-D point cloud data of the street-level scene. The system collects below-the-roofline data as a vehicle moves down the street at a rate of 250,000 points per second.
Data must not only be collected at a high rate of speed, but the data must rapidly be processed and ready for visualization and analysis to be useful. Software has been created, extended or integrated to support the collection, processing and visualization of these data. The hardware and software which Urban Recon has assembled and integrated will be examined.