NUMERICAL SIMULATION AND EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION OF WAVE PATTERN INDUCED COORDINATE ERRORS IN AIRBORNE LIDAR BATHYMETRY
Airborne LiDAR bathymetry (ALB) requires a refraction correction on the basis of Snell’s law at the air-water interface and a speedof- light correction to be applied on the raw laser data in order to achieve a geometric accurate representation of the water bottom. Strictly speaking, this requires exact knowledge about the local water surface inclination. If this information is not available, certain simplifications have to be introduced in correction methods. Common correction methods assume either a horizontal or a locally tilted planar water surface as well as an infinitesimally small thin laser ray, thus neglecting effects caused by the finite laser pulse diameter penetrating a curved surface. In our simulation approach, the refraction of finite diameter laser pulses passing the air/water interface is modeled differentially in a strict manner. The simulation tool is able to predict wave induced coordinate errors which have to be expected due to the neglections made in common refraction correction methods. Moreover, wave pattern dependent correction terms were be derived from systematic portions of the errors revealed by the simulations. The goal of this paper is to experimentally validate the coordinate errors predicted by the simulation tool. For that purpose, airborne laser bathymetry data of a 12 by 50 meter open air wave pool were processed, and the results were compared to reference data of the empty pool acquired by terrestrial laser scanning. The comparison showed that the effects predicted in the numerical simulation are confirmed by the experimental validation.