The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-2-2024
11 Jun 2024
 | 11 Jun 2024

Exploitation of the Number of Return Echoes for DTM Extraction from Point Clouds Acquired by LiDAR UAS DJI Zenmuse L1

Francesca Matrone, Francesca Gallitto, Andrea Maria Lingua, and Paolo Felice Maschio

Keywords: UAS, LiDAR, DTM extraction, return number, echoes, machine learning, Random Forest, morphological filter

Abstract. Following the enormous technological developments of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensors, it is currently easier to find them commercially in the UA (Uncrewed Aerial Systems) sector. In particular, with the Zenmuse L1 by DJI (Dà-Jiāng Innovations) the market has grown globally, mainly due to the compactness of the product that is easily compatible with UAS. The L1 sensor can record up to three returns of the emanating signal, so it can acquire a larger amount of points, such as those below the vegetation. Therefore, in addition to the geometric information of the points, the Zenmuse L1 point clouds also provide other information, such as the number of echo returns from 1 to 3. This data could be exploited to improve the automatic extraction of the digital terrain model (DTM) from the point clouds, hopefully leading to the avoidance of manual correction. This research aims to focus on evaluating whether the addition of the return number feature can affect the identification of the ground points through different computational methods and can improve the time efficiency of state-of-the-art algorithms.