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Journal of Applied Geodesy

Editor-in-Chief: Kahmen, Heribert / Rizos, Chris

CiteScore 2018: 1.61

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.532
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.064

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Volume 13, Issue 3


Empirical stochastic model of detected target centroids: Influence on registration and calibration of terrestrial laser scanners

Tomislav Medić
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Nussallee 17, 53115 Bonn, Germany
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Christoph Holst / Jannik Janßen / Heiner Kuhlmann
Published Online: 2019-03-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jag-2018-0032


The target-based point cloud registration and calibration of terrestrial laser scanners (TLSs) are mathematically modeled and solved by the least-squares adjustment. However, usual stochastic models are simplified to a large amount: They generally employ a single point measurement uncertainty based on the manufacturers’ specifications. This definition does not hold true for the target-based calibration and registration due to the fact that the target centroid is derived from multiple measurements and its uncertainty depends on the detection procedure as well. In this study, we empirically investigate the precision of the target centroid detection and define an empirical stochastic model in the form of look-up tables. Furthermore, we compare the usual stochastic model with the empirical stochastic model on several point cloud registration and TLS calibration experiments. There, we prove that the values of usual stochastic models are underestimated and incorrect, which can lead to multiple adverse effects such as biased results of the estimation procedures, a false a posteriori variance component analysis, false statistical testing, and false network design conclusions. In the end, we prove that some of the adverse effects can be mitigated by employing the a priori knowledge about the target centroid uncertainty behavior.

Keywords: terrestrial laser scanner; calibration; registration; stochastic model; target centroid detection


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About the article

Received: 2018-08-02

Accepted: 2019-03-06

Published Online: 2019-03-22

Published in Print: 2019-07-26

Citation Information: Journal of Applied Geodesy, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 179–197, ISSN (Online) 1862-9024, ISSN (Print) 1862-9016, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jag-2018-0032.

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