UAS Based LiDAR Mapping

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


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

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 LiDAR systems
  4. Evaluate the quality of UAS-based ranging products 

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 completion of 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% 


Tentative 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.

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Requirements: