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Fusion of ground penetrating radar and laser scanning for infrastructure mapping

: Merkle, Dominik; Frey, Carsten; Reiterer, Alexander


Journal of applied geodesy 15 (2021), Nr.1, S.31-45
ISSN: 1862-9016
ISSN: 1862-9024
Fraunhofer IPM ()
ground penetrating radar; LiDAR; sensor fusion; mobile mapping; point cloud

Mobile mapping vehicles, equipped with cameras, laser scanners (in this paper referred to as light detection and ranging, LiDAR), and positioning systems are limited to acquiring surface data. However, in this paper, a method to fuse both LiDAR and 3D ground penetrating radar (GPR) data into consistent georeferenced point clouds is presented, allowing imaging both the surface and subsurface. Objects such as pipes, cables, and wall structures are made visible as point clouds by thresholding the GPR signal’s Hilbert envelope. The results are verified with existing utility maps. Varying soil conditions, clutter, and noise complicate a fully automatized approach. Topographic correction of the GPR data, by using the LiDAR data, ensures a consistent ground height. Moreover, this work shows that the LiDAR point cloud, as a reference, increases the interpretability of GPR data and allows measuring distances between above ground and subsurface structures.