Real-Time Cartography Technologies Based on Altm

Real-Time Cartography Technologies Based on Altm


Evgeny Medvedev
Evgeny Medvedev
Vice-President (Research and development)
Geokosmos, Russia
[email protected]

Daina Vagners
Optech Inc, Canada

LiDAR technology has today completely proven its effectiveness. Application like Digital Terrain Model production and power-line corridor mapping are already classical. The technology is still progressing, its main advantage lies in its combination with other airborne remote sensing data, such as aerial photography. The ‘3D nature’ of laser data allows fully, automatic spatial orientation, orthorectification and geopositioning of imagery

This year there had been more than 1,000 hours of aerial survey missions with the ALTM 2050 system all over the territory of the Russian Federation. A huge amount of data has been collected and processed. Geokosmos, a privately owned and operated topographical and surveying company based in Moscow has been involved in this along with Canada- based Optech, a manufacturer of Lidar instruments for the surveying industry. Geokosmos created a complete technology of its own for ‘real time mapping’ based on laser scanning with ALTM.

The technology comprises of a set of auxiliary aerial survey tools (digital aerial cameras, GPS and GLONASS receivers, data recorders, mounting system and so on), ALTEXIS software and methodology. The technology proposed by Geokosmos is already the national standard in Russia.

ALTM Basics
The ALTM is a compact laser instrument that is mounted onto an airborne platform, and flown over the survey area. It efficiently and accurately obtains 3-D digital topographic data in a very short period of time. With typical fixed-wing aircraft speeds of 70 m/s and 1-km flight altitude, data can be collected at a rate of 3 sq km/min.

It can also be installed in helicopter platforms for low-speed surveys. As the laser is an active sensor, data collection can be conducted even at night. It can also penetrate forest canopy, making it possible for you to produce bare earth Digital Elevation Models of the forested land. All these qualities make the ALTM ideal for applications such as:

  • Natural resources inventory (e.g. canopy heights, biomass estimates, other forestry applications, open pit mine volume estimates)
  • Large topographic surveys
  • Urban mapping
  • Terrain mapping / GIS applications
  • Disaster prevention/assessment
  • Environmental assessment (e.g. coastal engineering, tidal flat monitoring, dune/beach erosion, wetlands mapping)
  • Corridor or route surveys (e.g. monitoring of electrical power lines/towers, gas/oil pipeline, road constructions, urban canyons, urban infrastructure and development