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Light detection and ranging (lidar) technologies provide a practical solution to 3D terrain mapping through laser ranging and scanning technologies. A lidar footprint, which is the critical parameter describing the size of a laser sampling area, varies with the scanning geometry and the local topography encountered. Integrating the effects of the scanning geometry and terrain orientations, this letter analyzes the intersection geometry of a laser beam and the terrain and develops a set of rigorous generalized footprint equations on inclined terrain for both across-track and Palmer scanning systems.
Date of Publication: July 2008