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Correcting Airborne Laser Scanning Intensity Data for Automatic Gain Control Effect

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4 Author(s)
Ants Vain ; Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia ; Xiaowei Yu ; Sanna Kaasalainen ; Juha Hyyppa

The intensity data recorded by airborne laser scanning (ALS) systems are useful for several applications, e.g., automatic point classification, change detection, and environmental studies. Before the intensity values can be used for any specific application, it has to be calibrated for atmospheric effect, range, energy loss, and incidence angle. Some ALS systems use automatic gain control (AGC). AGC is useful for getting laser returns even from low-reflectance surfaces (e.g., dark roofs), but it also changes the recorded intensity during the data acquisition, even within one surface type. This means that the same asphalt road might have totally different intensity values depending on the surrounding environment, which has affected the state of the AGC level. Therefore, it is important to correct the intensity values to neglect the effect of AGC in order to be able to get a normalized intensity value, which is only affected by the target characteristics. A first approach to correct the intensity values for AGC is reported in this letter. The same area was flown with AGC on and off, which allowed the modeling to take place. The results showed that the model produces values that agreed with an R2 of 0.76 to the intensities obtained when AGC was turned off.

Published in:

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 3 )