Gottfried Mandlburger


Interaction of Laser Pulses with the Water Surface - Theoretical Aspects and Experimental Results

Exact water level heights are required in laser bathymetry as the basis for measuring correct water depths, in hydraulic modelling as reference data for calibrating flood maps, for discharge estimation in hydrology, for topographic map production, and in many other fields. Measuring water surface heights with lasers is feasible but the interaction of the laser beam with the air-water-interface is complex. In this contribution, first, the various parameters influencing the backscatter from the water surface (laser wavelength, incidence angles, beam divergence and footprint size, surface albedo, specular reflection, etc.) are discussed in theory based on the LiDAR equation. In the second part, results from various real-world, flight experiments with topographic and bathymetric laser sensors mounted on manned and unmanned aerial platforms (airplane, octocopter UAV) are presented, demonstrating the effect of the individual parameters (incidence angle, range, laser wavelength) in practice.

Curriculum Vitae

Gottfried Mandlburger studied geodesy at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), where he also obtained his Ph.D. in 2006 (with honours). He is currently working as senior researcher at the research group Photogrammetry within the Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation of the TU Wien.

His research areas are topographic and bathymetric LiDAR, DTM modelling, topographic data management, and scientific software development. He is closely working together with experts in the field of hydraulic engineering emphasising on flood and habitat modelling. Gottfried Mandlburger has published several articles in the above field and is board member of the DWA (German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste) working group "Multi-dimensional numeric models". He is member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the ISPRS journal and coordinator of the LiDAR software suite OPALS developed at the TU Wien.