We successfully decoded the binary format of the full-waveform scanner Riegl LMS-Q780 (same as IGI LiteMapper LM 7800). This proprietary sdf format is slightly different from the one used in the Q680i. The waveforms are stored in a similar way, but the header is longer, and the parameters have been shuffled, some have been added – such as the variable power for instance. Interestingly, a significant chunk of the header has been encoded using a xor cipher with a constant 16-bit key.

Anyway, we can now read Q780-specific sdf files and process them. This scanner is amazingly powerful, and allows to scan at 400 KHz as high as 3000 m AGL. We are currently testing our Bayesian algorithms to see how much information we can extract from such high altitude data. Clearly, automatically determining the MTA zone (there can be as many as 10 pulses in the air simultaneously, but the exact number depends on the flight altitude, scan angle and topography so it has to be estimated carefully). Stay tuned!

Riegl LMS-Q780 format decoded