MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Optimising Mobile Mapping System Laser Scanner Orientation

    Cahalane, Conor and Lewis, Paul and McElhinney, Conor P. and McCarthy, Tim (2015) Optimising Mobile Mapping System Laser Scanner Orientation. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 4. pp. 302-319. ISSN 2220-9964

    Download (361kB) | Preview

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    Multiple laser scanner hardware configurations can be applied to Mobile Mapping Systems. As best practice, laser scanners are rotated horizontally or inclined vertically to increase the probability of contact between the laser scan plane and any surfaces that are perpendicular to the direction of travel. Vertical inclinations also maximise the number of scan profiles striking narrow vertical features, something that can be of use when trying to recognise features. Adding a second scanner allows an MMS to capture more data and improve laser coverage of an area by filling in laser shadows. However, in any MMS the orientation of each scanner on the platform must be decided upon. Changes in the horizontal or vertical orientations of the scanner can increase the range to vertical targets and the road surface, with excessive scanner angles lowering point density significantly. Limited information is available to assist the manufacturers or operators in identifying the optimal scanner orientation for roadside surveys. The method proposed in this paper applies 3D surface normals and geometric formulae to assess the influence of scanner orientation on point distribution. It was demonstrated that by changing the orientation of the scanner the number of pulses striking a target could be greatly increased, and the number of profiles intersecting with the target could also be increased—something that is particularly important for narrow vertical features. The importance of identifying the correct trade-off between the number of profiles intersecting with the target and the point spacing was also raised.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
    Keywords: point density; laser scanner; scanner orientation; mobile mapping systems;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > National Centre for Geocomputation, NCG
    Item ID: 6941
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Conor Cahalane
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 15:30
    Journal or Publication Title: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
    Publisher: MDPI
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Irish Research Council (IRC), Pavement Management Services Ltd., National Roads Authority (ERA-NET SR01 projects), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

    Repository Staff Only(login required)

    View Item Item control page


    Downloads per month over past year

    Origin of downloads