Measuring the height of Earth from space

Chapter 4: Moving into the next frontier of measurement

Measuring the height of Earth from space

Moving into the next frontier of measurement

With the acquisition of Sigma Space, Geosystems is moving into new airborne measurement capabilities through the use of SPL. Enabling 3D data collection at much higher speeds and resolution than conventional systems, this technology operates in night and day conditions and is able to penetrate semiporous targets such as vegetation, tree canopies, ground fog and clouds. Together with its speed of coverage (100 single beams at 6 million measurements per second), these features make it a superior choice for a wide range of industry applications, such as urban planning, aviation emergency services, disaster responses and Earth sciences.

“This is a very powerful technology that we see many uses for,” said Marcos Sirota, Sigma Space CEO. “At six times the efficiency of any other LiDAR currently on the market, we can provide 3D measurements capturing terrain and features with equal or better spatial resolution than 2D imagery. Accurate absolute 3D LiDAR imagery has been unaffordable until SPL became available.”

Elevation measurements are especially beneficial to organisations determining geological features of terrain, and this service is also an added benefit to the Hexagon Imagery Program (HxIP). With this new service component, Geosystems has now introduced the Hexagon Elevation Program (HxEP). Combined, the two programmes make up the new Hexagon Content Program (HxCP).

“Adding this elevation component to our alreadyexisting imagery program doubles the benefit for users who can now access 15-centimetre accuracy terrain imagery plus next generation precise elevation information,” said John Welter, HxCP director and Geosystems Geospatial Solutions Division president.

“With just starting at 6 million measurements per second with SPL, the possibilities ahead are very exciting. This is what it is all about – bringing up the point density while bringing down the cost per point.”

While Sigma Space continues to support NASA`s many Earth science missions, the long term vision is also to support its planetary missions. Mapping elevations of Mars and beyond is certainly moving Geosystems into the next frontier of exploration and discovery.

Back to Reporter 76 article overview

Story: Measuring the height of Earth from space
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Laser technology brings scientists closer to answers
Chapter 3: Replicating geospatial data from space
Chapter 4: Moving into the next frontier of measurement

Reporter 76

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