A. Biasizzo, F. Novak.
Hardware Accelerated Compression of LIDAR Data Using FPGA Devices.
Sensors, vol. 13, no. 5, 2013, pp. 6405-6422.
Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) has become a mainstream
technology for terrain data acquisition and mapping. High sampling density of LIDAR
enables the acquisition of high details of the terrain, but on the other hand, it results in a
vast amount of gathered data, which requires huge storage space as well as substantial
processing effort. The data are usually stored in the LAS format which has become the
de facto standard for LIDAR data storage and exchange. In the paper, a hardware
accelerated compression of LIDAR data is presented. The compression and decompression
of LIDAR data is performed by a dedicated FPGA-based circuit and interfaced to the
computer via a PCI-E general bus. The hardware compressor consists of three modules:
LIDAR data predictor, variable length coder, and arithmetic coder. Hardware compression
is considerably faster than software compression, while it also alleviates the processor load.