Interpolation of Three-Dimensional (3-D) Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Point Cloud Data onto a Uniform Upsampled Grid

Report No. ARL-TR-6616
Authors: Prudhvi Gurram, Shuowen Hu, and Alex Chan
Date/Pages: September 2013; 30 pages
Abstract: Airborne laser-scanning light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems are used for remote sensing topology and bathymetry. The most common data collection technique used in LiDAR results in scanning data that form a non-uniformly sampled three-dimensional (3-D) point cloud. To interpret and further process the point cloud, these raw data are usually converted to digital elevation models (DEMs) in a uniform and upsampled raster format. For this, the elevation information from the available non-uniform point cloud is mapped onto the uniform grid points and the grid points with missing elevation information are filled by using interpolation techniques. In this report, a partial differential equations (PDE) based approach is proposed to perform this interpolation. Due to the desirable effects of using higher order PDEs, smoothness is maintained over homogeneous regions, while reducing the draping effects near the edges of distinctive objects in the scene. Simulation results are presented in this report to illustrate the advantages of the proposed algorithm.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2013