Lidar Waveform: A Practical Perspective


Full waveform (FW) methods have been used in bathymetric LIDAR since the 1970s and in some small-footprint topographic LIDAR systems since ~2004. In the relatively short history of commercial, topographic FW LIDAR, processing and analysis of waveforms have so far remained primarily within the domain of researchers and system manufacturers. However, we are now witnessing increasing support for FW LIDAR in third-party software—both open source and commercial—along with a corresponding increase in operational use of FW tools and techniques. This presentation provides an overview of the basic principles, history, applications, and methods of FW LIDAR. A particular focus is the transition into widespread, operational use, including recent trends and market analysis. We conclude with a look ahead and some recommendations for the broad LIDAR community in moving forward with FW LIDAR implementation.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Annual Conference

Conference Date

March 24 - 28, 2013

Publisher Place

Baltimore, MD, USA

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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