Brightness measurements and calibration with airborne and terrestrial laser scanners

S. Kaasalainen, A. Kukko, Tomi J. Lindroos, P. Litkey, H. Kaartinen, Jussi Hyyppä, E. Ahokas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    73 Citations (Scopus)


    Brightness measurement with an airborne or terrestrial laser scanner is a new concept since the intensity information recorded by the laser scanner detectors has, thus far, not been used or implemented in surface brightness studies. This is partly due to the calibration problems and the lack of information on the behavior of laser light in the observation geometry where laser scanners operate. In addition, the 3-D position information has, thus far, been sufficient for surface modeling. We present a new type of empirical calibration scheme for laser scanner intensity developed with a terrestrial laser scanner in laboratory and field conditions using brightness targets and a calibrated reference panel. We compare the results with those obtained from airborne laser scanner flight campaigns using the same set of brightness targets. It turns out that the relative calibration of laser scanner intensity is possible using a calibrated grayscale but requires background information of the targets and the conditions in which the measurements are carried out. We also discuss the feasibility and uses of a laser-scanner-based intensity measurement in general.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)528-533
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • backscatter
    • laboratory measurement
    • laser scanning
    • lasers
    • reflectance
    • calibration
    • remote sensing
    • lidars


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