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July 2010 AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Responsible Senior Program Officer: Andrew C. Lemer Research Results Digest 10 LIGHT DETECTION AND RANGING (LIDAR) DEPLOYMENT FOR AIRPORT OBSTRUCTIONS SURVEYS This digest presents the results of ACRP Project 3-01, "Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Deployment for Airport Obstructions Surveys." The study was conducted by a research team under the leadership of the University of Mississippi. The Principal Investigator was Dr. Waheed Uddin. SUMMARY ogy, particularly for airport obstruction sur- veys. The final section discusses the sam- Airports conduct obstruction surveys to ple procurement specification developed identify obstacles--for example, towers, by the research team to facilitate design of buildings, trees--that may pose hazards to a LIDAR-based survey. The sample pro- air navigation in the vicinity of an airport. curement specification is presented in an The surveys, which must conform to re- appendix. quirements established by the federal gov- ernment, have traditionally been conducted using aerial photogrammetric and ground- INTRODUCTION based survey methods. Rapid development Airport obstruction surveys are used by of LIDAR (light detection and ranging) airports to determine when action is needed technology in recent years is thought by to avoid or remediate impingements on air- many people to offer a cost-effective alter- space (for example, trimming to reduce the native to the traditional methods for collect- height of trees near runways); by airlines to ing the data required to prepare airport analyze flight paths for their aircraft; and obstruction surveys meeting government by the FAA to analyze and design controlled requirements. This digest describes research airspace features such as new instrument conducted to investigate the readiness of approaches, including global positioning LIDAR technology for this application. system (GPS) approaches. Airports also use A product of the research is a sample speci- these surveys to update Airport Layout Plan fication that responsible agencies might (ALP) drawings that may become the basis use to procure LIDAR-based aerial survey for restricting the heights of structures that services to produce an airport obstruction could impinge on airspace and to note loca- survey. tions of temporary potential obstructions C O N T E N T S This digest is organized into three sec- such as construction cranes. Summary, 1 tions and an appendix. The initial intro- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Introduction, 1 duction section describes the context for Administration's (NOAA) National Geo- airport obstructions surveys and Federal detic Survey, operating under a series of LIDAR and Its Application in Airport Surveys, 2 Aviation Administration (FAA) standards interagency agreements with the FAA, is Sample Survey Specification for those surveys. The second section re- responsible for certifying that informa- for Airborne LIDAR, 4 views the state of practice with respect to tion developed from obstructions surveys Appendix, A-1 applications of airborne LIDAR technol- meets the requirements for operation of the