2006 USGS/NPS/NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL): Jean Lafitte
National Historical Park and Preserve
A first surface/bare earth elevation map (also known as a Digital Elevation Model,
or DEM) of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana was
produced from remotely sensed, geographically referenced elevation measurements cooperatively
by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Park Service (NPS), and the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Elevation measurements were collected
over the area using the NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL),
a pulsed-laser ranging system mounted onboard an aircraft to measure ground elevation,
vegetation canopy, and coastal topography. The system uses high frequency laser beams
directed at the Earth's surface through an opening in the bottom of the aircraft's
fuselage. The laser system records the time difference between emission of the laser
beam and the reception of the reflected laser signal in the aircraft. The plane travels
over the target area at approximately 50 meters per second at an elevation of approximately
300 meters. The EAARL, developed by NASA at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, measures
ground elevation with a vertical resolution of 15 centimeters. A sampling rate of
3 kilohertz or higher results in an extremely dense spatial elevation dataset. Over
100 kilometers of coastline can be easily surveyed within a 3- to 4-hour mission.
When subsequent elevation maps for an area are analyzed, they provide a useful tool
to make management decisions regarding land development.
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
|Search and Download
|| Distributor information not available
| Point of Contact
Jacobs Technology, U.S. Geological Survey, FISC, St. Petersburg, FL
Documentation links not available.
- DOI/USGS > United States Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior
- DOI/NPS > National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
|Data Presentation Form:
|| Digital image
|Dataset Progress Status
|Data Update Frequency:
|| Not planned
||Raw Lidar data are not in a format that is generally usable by Park Service resource
managers and scientists for scientific analysis. Converting dense Lidar elevation
data into a readily usable format without loss of essential information requires specialized
processing. The U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal and Marine Geology (CMG) Program
has developed custom software to convert raw Lidar data into a GIS-compatible map
product to be provided to GIS specialists, managers, and scientists. The primary tool
used in the conversion process is Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a multi-tiered
processing system developed by a USGS-NASA collaborative project. Specialized processing
algorithms are used to convert raw waveform Lidar data acquired by the EAARL to georeferenced
spot (x,y,z) returns for "first surface" and "bare earth" topography. These data are
then converted to the North American Datum of 1983 and the North American Vertical
Datum of 1988 (using the GEOID03 model). Each file contains data located in a 2-km
by 2-km tile, where the upper-left bound can be assessed quickly through the file
name. The first 3 numbers in the file name represent the left-most UTM easting coordinate
(e###000) in meters, the next 4 numbers represent the top-most UTM northing coordinate
(n####000) in meters, and the last 2 numbers (##) represent the UTM zone in which
the tile is located (for example, fs_e123_n4567_15). The development of custom software
for creating these data products has been supported by the U.S. Geological Survey
CMG Program's Decision Support for Coastal Parks, Sanctuaries, and Preserves Project.
Processed data products are used by the U.S. Geological Survey CMG Program's National
Assessments of Coastal Change Hazards Project to quantify the vulnerability of shorelines
to coastal change hazards such as severe storms, sea-level rise, and shoreline erosion
and retreat. A footprint of the data may be viewed in Google Earth at: ftp://ftp.csc.noaa.gov/pub/crs/beachmap/qa_docs/la/2006_USGS_NPS_NASA_EAARL_Lidar_Jean_Lafitte_Louisiana.kmz
||The purpose of this project was to produce a highly detailed and accurate first surface/bare
earth elevation map of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Louisiana
for natural resource managers and research scientists.
|| Unknown to Unknown
|Spatial Reference System:
|Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
|Spatial Coverage Map:
- Airborne Lidar Processing System
- Digital Surface Model
- Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar
- laser altimetry
- remote sensing
- Jefferson Parish
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
| Use Constraints
|| No constraint information available
|| Fee information not available.
|| Lineage statement not available.
- Jacobs Technology, U.S. Geological Survey, FISC, St. Petersburg, FL
| Processing Steps
- The data are collected using a Cessna 310 aircraft. The NASA Experimental Advanced
Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) laser scanner collects the data using a green (532-nm)
raster scanning laser while a digital camera acquires a visual record of the flight.
The data are stored on hard drives and archived at the U.S. Geological Survey, FISC
office in St. Petersburg, FL, and the NASA office at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The navigational data are processed at Wallops Flight Facility. The navigational and
raw data are then downloaded into the Advanced Lidar Processing System (ALPS). Data
are converted from units of time to x,y,z points for elevation. The derived surface
data can then be converted into raster data (GeoTIFFs).
- The NOAA Coastal Services Center received the data in LAS format. The files contained
Lidar elevation and intensity measurements. The data were projected in UTM coordinates
(NAD83; Zone 15N) and referenced to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88)
using the Geoid03 model. The following processes were performed to make the data available
within the Digital Coast: 1. The data were converted from UTM (NAD83; Zone 15N) to
geographic coordinates (NAD83). 2. The data were converted from NAVD88 (orthometric)
heights to GRS80 (ellipsoidal) heights using the Geoid03 model. 3. The data were reclassified
to reflect a bare earth surface (class 0 to class 2). 4. The LAS data were sorted
by latitude and the headers were updated.
Metadata Last Modified: 2013-06-11
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