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Airborne and Space-Based Laser Mapping for Earth Science

September 23, 2014
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Dr. Amy Neuenschwander
University of Texas, Austin, TX

Research Scientist
Geospatial Laser Applications & Measurements
Applied Research Laboratories


Over the last two decades with the advancement of laser technology, new mapping techniques and GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) functionality, laser remote sensing has been utilized in many environments to satisfy the need for highly accurate 3-dimensional views of the surface. In fact, the highly accurate data sets collected with airborne laser ranging systems have become the standard for derivation of high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) and digital surface models (DSMs) for a growing audience of organizations. In addition to the creation of DEMs for topographic investigations, LiDAR data are used in a variety of applications including forestry, habitat modeling, hydrology, natural hazard and risk assessment, coastal applications, and delineation of urban features. Due to its global coverage, space-based LiDAR continues to provide meaningful data for a plethora of remote sensing applications, and continues to be improved by the scientific community. It maintains a successful reputation as an accurate methodology for providing 3D visualization and is poised to become one of the standard remote sensing solutions for future environmental and scientific investigations. In 2007, the National Research Council recommended that NASA designate laser altimetry missions as a top priority to compliment and fill gaps among ongoing investigations of vegetation three-dimensional structure, biomass, and disturbance measurements. NASA’s ICESat-2 (2017) and GEDI (2019) missions are poised to fill that role.


Amy Neuenschwander is a research scientist at the Applied Research Laboratories at The University of Texas at Austin. She is a past NASA Fellow and is an expert in EO/IR imagery and signal processing. Recently, her efforts are primarily associated with data retrieval algorithm development for full-waveform feature extraction of airborne LiDAR surveys and feature extraction algorithms for 3D point clouds. In addition, she serves on the ICESat-2 Science Definition Team with a focus on ecosystem science. Dr. Neuenschwander holds a B.S. and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate degree in Geography and the Environment from the University of Texas at Austin.


September 23, 2014
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Koldus Room 110