Workshop Digital Terrain Models from Full Waveform Laser Scanning


Univ.Prof. Wolfgang Wagner
Univ.Prof. Norbert Pfeifer

Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Christian Doppler Laboratory for Spatial Data from Laser Scanning and Remote Sensing
Vienna University of Technology

Date: November 12 - 13, 2009
Venue: Vienna University of Technology, Gusshausstrasse 27-29, 1040 Wien, Austria

This workshop is a continuation of a series of university courses on laser scanning initated by Prof. Karl Kraus.


Airborne laser scanning is a technology which has developed rapidly in the last few years. It has set new standards, especially for the generation of digital terrain models (DTM). A great advantage of laser scanning is the ability to “see” through gaps in the vegetation foliage. The DTM quality strongly depends on the correct classification of the 3D point cloud into terrain and off-terrain echoes. Especially dense and low vegetation is considered as problematic. With full waveform laser scanners, commercially available since 2004, a considerable amount of these problems can be overcome. Additionally, new quality indicators can be derived.


This workshop will teach the basics of full waveform laser scanning in lectures, exercises, and discussions. It will reach from the sensor specifications to terrain modeling. The following list of topics will be treated.

  • Measurement principle and physical foundations
  • Sensor properties and measurement process
  • Waveform analysis and calibrationGeo-referencing
  • Signature analysis of full waveform parameters
  • Classification and segmentation
  • Filtering (classification) based on full-waveform information
  • DTM derivation
  • Quality control

Three practical exercises will be carried out, next to a demonstration of a full waveform sensor. Each participant will follow each exercise in groups – with a maximum of ten persons per group.


The number of participants is limited to 30. Acceptance to the workshop is based on the sequence of confirmed registrations.


Scientists and practitioners, engaged in the acquisition, processing, and exploitation of airborne full waveform laser scanning data.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

  • 10:00 - 10:15 Opening and introduction (Pfeifer)
  • 10:15 - 11:00 Measurement principle and physical foundation (Wagner)
  • 11:00 - 11:45 Sensor properties and measurement principle (Ulrich, RIEGL Company)
  • 11:45 - 13:30 Lunch break (Karlwirt)
  • 13:30 - 14:00 OPALS Software (Mandlburger)
  • 14:00 - 14:30 Full-waveform analysis (Roncat)
  • 14:30 - 14:45 Coffee break
  • 14:45 - 15:15 Radiometric calibration (Briese)
  • 15:15 - 16:00 Georeferencing (Pfeifer)
  • 16:00 - 16:30 Coffee break
  • 16:30 - 18:15 Exercise block I
  • 18:15 - 19:30 Transferfrom
  • 19:30 Joint dinner at Heurigen (traditional Austrian wine tavern)

Friday, November 13, 2009

  • 09:00 - 09:30 Signature analysis of full-waveform parameters (Mücke)
  • 09:30 - 10:30 Breaklines and DTM filtering with FWF (Briese)
  • 10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break
  • 10:45 - 12:30 Exercise block II
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break (Nelson's)
  • 14:00 - 14:45 Experience with operational projects (Doneus)
  • 14:45 - 15:00 Coffee break
  • 15:00 - 16:45 Exercise block III
  • 16:45 - 17:00 Final discussion and farewell (Pfeifer)

  • Exercise A: Waveform analysis and calibration
  • Exercise B: Quality control and georeferencing
  • Exercise C: Classification and filtering of full-waveform ALS data

Each participant will follow all three exercises (A, B, C). Teachers and tutors are, if not specified otherwise, staff of the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Spatial Data from Laser Scanning and Remote Sensing, both Vienna University of Technology.


The Workshop will be held in English, including all workshop materials.


The registration fee is € 400.-. For early bird registration until June 24, a reduced fee of € 350.- is available. There are no further reductions. Workshop materials and the joint dinner are included.


You may download the registration form here . Please send the filled form to

Mrs. Petra Loibl
Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Vienna University of Technology
Gusshausstrasse 27-29
1040 Wien

per surface mail or fax (+43-1-58801-12299).
As the number of participants is limited strictly to 30, we advise to register soon.


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 at the registration form.


Internet access will be available.


Sponsors will be BEWAG Geoservice GmbH, MILAN Geoservice GmbH, RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, rmDATA GmbH, Terrasolid Ltd, and inpho GmbH.
 June 12, 2009