The U. V. Helava Award

Best Paper 2019

The U.V. Helava Award, sponsored by Elsevier B.V. and Leica Geosystems AG, is a prestigious ISPRS Award that was established in 1996 to encourage and stimulate submission of high quality scientific papers by individual authors or groups to the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, to promote and advertise the Journal, and to honour the outstanding contributions of Dr. Uuno V. Helava to research and development in photogrammetry and remote sensing.

The Award is presented to authors of the best paper, written in English and published exclusively in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing during the four-year period from January of a Congress year, to December of the year prior to the next Congress. The Award consists of a monetary grant of SFr. 10,000 and a plaque. A five-member Jury, comprising experts of high scientific standing, whose expertise covers the main topics included in the scope of the Journal, evaluates the papers. For each year of the four-year evaluation period, the best paper is selected, and among these four papers, the one to receive the U.V. Helava Award will be selected.

The U.V. Helava Award will be presented at the 24th ISPRS Congress in Nice, France, 4-10 July 2021. The Jury appointed by the ISPRS Council, evaluated papers from volumes 147-158 (2019) and announces its decision for the Best Paper. The winner of the 2019 Best Paper Award is:


external link  "Design and evaluation of a full-wave surface and bottom-detection algorithm for LiDAR bathymetry of very shallow waters".

by Roland Schwarz a,b, Gottfried Mandlburger b,c, Martin Pfennigbauer a and Norbert Pfeifer b

a Riegl Research, Austria
b Technische Universität Wien, Austria
c University of Stuttgart, Germany



Roland Schwarz Gottfried Mandlburger Martin Pfennigbauer Norbert Pfeifer
Roland Schwarz Gottfried Mandlburger Martin Pfennigbauer Norbert Pfeifer


published in volume 150, April 2019, pp. 1-110,


Jury's rationale for the paper selection

This paper presents a new contribution to multimedia lidar methodology for shallow water bathymetric mapping. The authors’ SVB (surface, volume and bottom) algorithm represents a new, innovative contribution to underwater topographic mapping. A considerable advantage of their method is that it relies only on a single laser wavelength. The Jurors were impressed with the detailed modelling of the return waveform, the clarity of the explanation, the convincing experimental results and potential for broader applicability of the method.

On behalf of the ISPRS and the U.V. Helava Award Jury, I would like to congratulate the authors for this distinction and thank them for their contribution. I also hank the sponsors of the Award and the Jury members for their thorough evaluations.


Derek Lichti
ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing,
The University of Calgary



The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. The Society operates without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political philosophy.

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