|2007 USGS/NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL): Northeast US
(New York, New Jersey) Coastal Barrier Islands
|ASCII xyz point cloud data were produced from remotely sensed, geographically referenced
elevation measurements cooperatively by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Elevation measurements were collected
over the barrier island areas of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York and Monmouth
County in New Jersey, 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 time period. When subsequent elevation maps for an area are analyzed, they
provide a useful tool to make management decisions regarding land development.