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Light Detection and Ranging
Airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM)
LIDAR contour mapping
LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a method of detecting information from a distant target using the properties of scattered light. A LIDAR sensor sends out laser pulses and measures the time taken for the signal to reflect back to the sensor to determine the distance to the target. It is similar in principle to RADAR, which uses radio waves of a much longer wavelength compared to LIDAR. LIDAR sensors are attached to aircraft and provide high quality, high resolution information about surface topography and surface features. It has been used successfully in rangelands to map land surface features such as vegetation, topography, erosion features, and surface roughness. It has also been used in forest ecosystems to characterize height, canopy structure, leaf area index (LAI) and biomass.
Edit the following table or delete it and provide a description of spectral characteristics
LIDAR sensors are attached to aircraft, and therefore they are not dependent on a set return interval like satellite-based sensors.
Cost, acquisition procedures, and licensing of LIDAR images will vary depending on the source.
Any special (or helpful) software or hardware requirements for using this kind of imagery (e.g., converters for reading NASA HDF format and saving data to a more user-friendly format)
(source: Hunt et al. 2003)
LIDAR image (right) compared to an aerial photograph (left) of a coastline, showing the fine-scale topographic variations detectable using LIDAR (source: NASA)
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