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Heliogs - tiltan lidar data processing cooperation

Heliogs s.C.A.R.L. (Italy) and tiltan systems engineering ltd. (Israel) will cooperate in introducing a new, innovative automatic lidar processing software package that will enable fast creation of accurate gis information from lidar data.

LiDAR, an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging, is a sensor that enables rapid generation of dense, accurate, digital models of the topography and vertical structure of a target surface. The LiDAR laser sensor is mounted to the underside of an aircraft. It transmits pulses of narrow laser beam towards the earth as the aircraft flies. A receiver affixed to the aircraft receives the reflection of these pulses as they bounce off the earth and objects below back to the aircraft. Most LiDAR systems use a scanning mirror to generate a swath of light pulses. Swath width depends on the mirror's angle of oscillation, and ground-point density depends on factors such as aircraft speed and mirror oscillation rate. Ranges are determined by computing the amount of time it takes light to leave an airplane, travel to the ground and return to the sensor. A sensing unit's precise position and altitude, instantaneous mirror angle and the collected ranges are used to calculate 3-D positions of terrain and objects points. The LiDAR data is coupled with additional precise positioning information gathered by on board Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and other Inertial Navigation Systems (INS). Once the total information volume is stored and processed, the resulting product is an extremely accurate 'x.y.z.' for every position scanned on the ground. LiDAR collects on average 10 points per square meter so a flight that covers 50 sq.km acquires approximately 2*1010 data points to be processed. One of the issues preventing widespread acceptance of LiDAR is the lack of software tools that automatically and efficiently processes the LiDAR data. TILTAN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING LTD started to develop technology to handle the massive amount of information gathered by LiDAR and to process it automatically into a 3D model for use in simulation and training. TILTAN's technology is built in C++ and runs on multi-core processors, hence giving it the capability to stream and process large amounts of data. TILTAN also developed algorithms for automatic extraction of bare earth (DTM), structures and vegetation. At the same time, HELIOGS has developed algorithms that automate the auto-detection of features (houses and trees) from the LiDAR point clouds, however, these algorithms are written under MATLAB. To implement them for commercial use, they need to be transferred to C++ and implemented within TILTAN's software. The algorithms developed by both HELIOGS and TILTAN require more work and development to allow high fidelity automatic processing work. These algorithms also require validation; HELIOGS owns both the expertise (researchers) and the technology and instruments (helicopter, LiDAR sensor) to test this. The proposed project will enable the development and merging of HELIOGS' and TILTAN's technologies into one software package that will automatically process large quantities of LiDAR data and automatically extract high fidelity and precise products: bare earth Digital Terrain elevation model (DTM), man-made structures (shape files), roads , rivers and different kinds of vegetation . High fidelity of the product is guaranteed by HELIOGS' supervision and testing. Keywords: LiDAR, DTM, DSM, automatic processing, 3D modelling.
Acronym: 
HELIGOS
Project ID: 
4 147
Start date: 
01-06-2007
Project Duration: 
14months
Project costs: 
840 000.00€
Technological Area: 
GIS Geographical Information Systems
Market Area: 
Other services (not elsewhere classified)

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