What is the maximum amount of returns a discrete aerial laser scanner is capable of recording?
For example in a LAS 1.2 metadata under Point Data Records there is the category 'Number of Returns' with minimum and maximum values listed:
number_of_returns 1 6 edge_of_flight_line 0 1 scan_direction_flag 1 1 classification 1 12 scan_angle_rank -30 29 user_data 0 0 point_source_ID 45 80 gps_time 176457.257923 348033.538859 number of first returns: 1906575 number of intermediate returns: 2157 number of last returns: 1906575 number of single returns: 1881894 WARNING: there is 1 point with return number 6 overview over number of returns of given pulse: 1881894 45403 5441 593 76 6 0
As I got a warning I wanted to check what was the maximum number of returns the laser software and/or the processing software was capable of recording. Would the warning indicate that a return number would be erroneous?
I also looked at an example of a laser scanner (Riegl LMS-Q1560) and could not find any reference to maximum possible returns.