Automatic and Full Calibration of Mobile Laser Scanning Systems

  • Jan ElsebergEmail author
  • Dorit Borrmann
  • Andreas Nüchter
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 88)


Mobile scanning, i.e., the practice of mounting laser scanners on moving platforms is an efficient way to acquire accurate and dense 3D point clouds of outdoor environments for urban and regional planning and architecture. The mobile scenario puts high requirements on the accuracy of the calibration of the measurement system, as small calibration inaccuracies lead to large errors in the resulting point cloud. We propose a novel algorithm for the calibration of a mobile scanning system that estimates the calibration parameters for all sensor components simultaneously without relying on additional hardware. We evaluate the calibration algorithm on several real world data sets where ground truth is available via an accurate geodetic model.


Point Cloud Inertial Measurement Unit Calibration Parameter Mobile Platform Terrestial Laser Scanner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Nüchter, A., et al.: 3DTK – The 3D Toolkit (February 2011),
  2. 2.
    Baziw, J., Leondes, C.: In-Flight Alignment and Calibration of Inertial Measurement Units. Part II: Experimental Results. IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems 8(4), 450 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Besl, P., McKay, N.: A Method for Registration of 3–D Shapes. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 14(2), 239–256 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Martinelli, A., Tomatis, N., Tapus, A., Siegwart, R.: Simultaneous Localization and Odometry Calibration for Mobile Robot. In: International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Las Vegas (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mills, D.L.: Internet Time Synchronization: The Network Time Protocol. IEEE Transactions on Communications 39, 1482–1493 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nebot, E., Durrant-Whyte, H.: Initial Calibration and Alignment of Low-Cost Inertial Navigation Units for Land Vehicle Applications. Journal of Robotic Systems 16(2), 81–92 (1999)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Olson, E.: A Passive Solution to the Sensor Synchronization Problem. In: Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (October 2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Powell, M.J.D.: An Efficient Method for Finding the Minimum of a Function of Several Variables without Calculating Derivatives. The Computer Journal 7(2), 155–162 (1964)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rieger, P., Studnicka, N., Pfennigbauer, M.: Boresight Alignment Method for Mobile Laser Scanning Systems. In: Proc. of the RSPRS Conference (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sheehan, M., Harrison, A., Newman, P.: Self-Calibration for a 3D Laser. The International Journal of Robotics Research (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Skaloud, J., Schaer, P.: Towards Automated LiDAR Boresight Self-Calibration. In: MMS 2007, Padova (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Talaya, J., Alamus, R., Bisch, E., Serra, A., Kornus, W., Baron, A.: Integration of a Terrestial Laser Scanner with GPS/IMU Orientation Sensors. International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 5(17) (2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Underwood, J.P., Hill, A., Peynot, T., Scheding, S.J.: Error Modeling and Calibration of Exteroceptive Sensors for Accurate Mapping Applications. Journal of Field Robotics 27(1), 2–20 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Elseberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dorit Borrmann
    • 1
  • Andreas Nüchter
    • 1
  1. 1.Jacobs University Bremen gGmbHBremenGermany

Personalised recommendations