Workshop: Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Scanning for Vegetation Analysis


TU Wien, Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Gusshausstr. 27-29, 1040 Vienna, Austria 
Seminar room 122


Sep 29, 2011 (9:00-17:00) Workshop Day 1
Sep 30, 2011 (9:00-17:00) Workshop Day 2


The workshop addresses scientists and practitioners, engaged in the acquisition, processing, and exploitation of airborne laser scanning data with the focus on vegetation analyses.

The number of participants is limited to 24. Acceptance to the workshop is based on the sequence of confirmed registrations in a first-come first-serve principle. Some familiarity with laser scanning is required for profiting from the workshop. The course will be held in English.


The workshop will teach the basics of discrete as well as full waveform laser scanning in lectures, exercises, and discussions. About half of the workshop is dedicated to practical examples using the software OPALS (Orientation and Processing of Airborne Laser Scanning data). The following topics will be treated:

  • ALS measurement principle and physical foundations
  • Waveform signal processing and radiometric calibration
  • Quality control, georeferencing and strip adjustment
  • Introduction into OPALS
  • Derivation of topographic models
  • Forest and forest stand delineation
  • Derivation of structural parameters of vegetation
  • Assessment of forest parameters

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of laser scanning and become familiar with OPALS in order to derive vegetation parameters from airborne laser scanning. The presented works are based on the outcomes of recent and ongoing research projects of the I.P.F., e.g. ÖWI-Regio, ChangeHabitat 2; Laser-Wood; Forest-Check; Transnational Ecological Networks in Central Europe.

Preliminary program

Day 1 (Thursday, Sep 29, 2011)

9:00-12:00 Lectures I

  • Registration
  • Airborne Laser Scanning – An overview
  • Full waveform data processing and radiometric calibration
    Quality control of ALS projects / Georeferencing of ALS strips
  • ALS for vegetation analyses – an overview

12:00-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-17:00 Exercises I

  • OPALS software concept
  • Derivation of topographic models
  • Analysis of full waveform information


Day2 (Friday, Sep 30, 2011)

9:00-12:00 Exercises II

  • Forest and forest stand delineation
  • Derivation of structural parameters of vegetation e.g. layering, fragmentation
  • Assessment of forest parameters e.g. stem volume, biomass

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-17:00 Lectures II & final discussion

  • OPALS bindings and parallelization (multi-threading, grid/cloud computing)
  • Experiences with OPALS in vegetation projects
  • Final discussion

The lectures and exercises are given by the staff of the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing at the Vienna University of Technology as well as from invited external speakers. Coffee breaks during the morning and afternoon blocks will give time for individual discussions with presenters and participants.

Each exercise will be preceded by a short introductory lecture. The exercises are supported by tutors and will be conducted in a classroom with two participants per computer.

Registration fee

The registration fee is € 400,— including course materials lunch and refreshments. For early bird registration until June 30, a reduced fee of € 350,- is available. There are no further reductions.


Please send an email to Mrs. Sabine Zischinsky sz (at)


Upon request we will reserve a hotel room in the vicinity of Vienna University of Technology. Please indicate the hotel category and your day of arrival and departure. For further information about accommodations please contact Mrs. Sabine Zischinsky sz (at)


Dr. Markus Hollaus:
E-Mail : mh (at)
Phone : ++43-1-58801-12239
Fax : ++43-1-58801-12299

Further information

Additional information on the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing can be found at:

This agenda and information can be downloaded as pdf.

Category: News, Photogrammetry