DFG Software Grant

Successful proposal: Fostering a community-driven and sustainable HELIOS++ scientific software

The 3DGeo Group and the Scientific Software Center (SSC) of Heidelberg University have been successful with their proposal in the DFG call “Research Software – Quality assured and re-usable”, together with two other project proposals at Heidelberg University (see press release).

The main objective of the new project “Fostering a community-driven and sustainable HELIOS++ scientific software” is to bring HELIOS++, our laser scanning simulation software, to a professional level of software development and quality and to establish sustainable institutional structures. This will be achieved by integrating the Scientific Software Center (SSC) into the development process.

About HELIOS++

HELIOS++, the “Heidelberg LiDAR Operations Simulator“, is an open-source scientific software for generating synthetic but realistic topographic laser scanning point clouds and associated full waveforms. HELIOS++ mimics real topographic laser scanning in a computer environment using ray tracing, which we call virtual laser scanning (VLS).

VLS allows full control of the acquisition parameters, reproducibility of the data generation process and point cloud labelling by automatically transferring labels from the input 3D model to the simulated point cloud. It is highly flexible and modular, supporting a variety of platforms and scanners and a wide range of spatial scales and geometric detail. HELIOS++ can be easily integrated into highly automated data analysis workflows.

VLS has various practical applications in the field of geospatial research and beyond:

  • Education
  • Data acquisition planning
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Algorithm and sensor development
  • Machine learning ➡️ VirtuaLearn3D

About the SSC

The Scientific Software Center (SSC) at Heidelberg University is dedicated to supporting and improving scientific software development to ensure reproducibility, transparency and sustainability. This is achieved through software engineering training for scientists, software development collaboration, and outreach activities.

Further Information

The Sustainable HELIOS++ is funded within the call „Research Software – Quality Assured and Re-usable” by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project number: 528521476

Logo of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)