UAS-Based LiDAR Mapping

CE 59700

Credit Hours:



Ayman Habib

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the principles of LiDAR-based mapping.
  2. Identify/select systems/sensors/platforms and design flight plan to meet the needs of a specific application.
  3. Conduct a UAS-based mapping project using a LiDAR system.
  4. Evaluate the quality of UAS-based ranging products.


This 1-credit module covers the principles and mathematical details of laser scanning-based 3D reconstruction using ranging sensors onboard UAVs.

Topics Covered:

LiDAR Mapping Principles; LiDAR Point Positioning; LiDAR Error Sources and their Impact; LiDAR System Calibration; LiDAR Data Quality Control; LiDAR Data Structuring; LiDAR Data Characterization; LiDAR Data Downsampling; LiDAR Data Segmentation; Digital Terrain Model Generation; Point Cloud Registration


Successful complete Module 1: “UAS-Based Mapping: Basic Principles” or equivalent as a prerequisite

Web Address:

Web Content:

Syllabus, grades, lecture notes, homework assignments, solutions and quizzes


Your learning will be assessed through a combination of participation, homework and quizzes spread throughout the course. Details on these assignments and exams and guidelines on discussion and evaluation will be posted on the course website.  There will be three homework assignments (40 points total) and two quizzes (25 points each).

  • Class participation: 10%
  • Homework:  40%
  • Timed Quizzes:   50%


Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department.

Tentative Textbook Listing: (Optional Textbooks)

  • Shan, J., & Toth, C. K. (Eds.). (2018). Topographic laser ranging and scanning: principles and processing. CRC press.
  • Wujanz, D. (2016). Terrestrial laser scanning for geodetic deformation monitoring. Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany).
  • Maune, D. F. (Ed.). (2007). Digital elevation model technologies and applications: the DEM users manual. Asprs Publications.

Software/Web Resources: