Point clouds

Point clouds are collections of 3D points located randomly in space. A sensor emits a pulse of energy and times its return trip (TWTT, two way travel time). Knowing the position of the sensor, and the direction in which the pulse was transmitted, the 3D location of the reflecting surface can be determined. The sensor can also measure the intensity of the return, to estimate the surface geometry and material composition of the reflecting surface.

https://www.usna.edu/Users/oceano/pguth/md_help/html/pt_clouds.htm

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