Radiometric calibration of a dual-wavelength, full-waveform terrestrial lidar

Zhan Li, David L.B. Jupp, Alan H. Strahler, Crystal B. Schaaf, Glenn Howe, Kuravi Hewawasam, Ewan S. Douglas, Supriya Chakrabarti, Timothy A. Cook, Ian Paynter, Edward J. Saenz, Michael Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Radiometric calibration of the Dual-Wavelength Echidna® Lidar (DWEL), a full-waveform terrestrial laser scanner with two simultaneously-pulsing infrared lasers at 1064 nm and 1548 nm, provides accurate dual-wavelength apparent reflectance (rapp), a physically-defined value that is related to the radiative and structural characteristics of scanned targets and independent of range and instrument optics and electronics. The errors of rapp are 8.1% for 1064 nm and 6.4% for 1548 nm. A sensitivity analysis shows that rapp error is dominated by range errors at near ranges, but by lidar intensity errors at far ranges. Our semi-empirical model for radiometric calibration combines a generalized logistic function to explicitly model telescopic effects due to defocusing of return signals at near range with a negative exponential function to model the fall-off of return intensity with range. Accurate values of rapp from the radiometric calibration improve the quantification of vegetation structure, facilitate the comparison and coupling of lidar datasets from different instruments, campaigns or wavelengths and advance the utilization of bi-and multi-spectral information added to 3D scans by novel spectral lidars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number313
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • DWEL
  • Dual-wavelength lidar
  • Full-waveform lidar
  • Radiometric calibration
  • Terrestrial lidar
  • Vegetation structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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