In doing some work on an upcoming presentation to the TxDOT (Texas Dept. of Transportation SCOS (Standing Committee on Surveying) Conference yesterday I received a call from someone that is working on uncertainty. The two events are nicely linked in that the folks in Texas want to me to discuss accuracy standards. If only we had them.
The caller informed me that he is working on a methodology for determining the uncertainty of individual measurements made with a laser scanner. The idea would be to create an extension to the E57 data exchange format that would support this new measurement uncertainty parameter. That would be a valuable step forward.
The basic applied research on laser scanner and LiDAR system accuracy is not being done. Vendors are still the only group that can calibrate their systems. The rest of us have to treat them like a black box. I guess if we are willing to accept that then all we can do is make multiple passes and see if the data lines up. Crude at best.