Remote Sensing Applications and Decision Support

Airborne light detection and ranging laser return intensity-based investigation into crown-inside? A case study on Quercus robur trees

[+] Author Affiliations
Yi Lin

Peking University, School of Earth and Space Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, No. 5 Yiheyuan Road, Beijing 100871, China

Finnish Geodetic Institute, Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Geodeetinrinne 2, Masala 02431, Finland

Lifu Zhang, Cheng Wang

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, No. 9 Dengzhuangnan Road, Beijing 100094, China

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(2), 026024 (May 27, 2016). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.10.026024
History: Received October 15, 2015; Accepted May 4, 2016
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Abstract.  The significance of laser return intensity has been widely verified in airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR)-based forest canopy mapping, but this does not mean that all of its roles have been played. People still ask such questions as “Is it possible using this optical attribute of lasers to investigate individual tree-crown insides wherein laser intensity data are typically yielded in complicated echo-triggering modes?” To answer this question, this study examined the characteristics of the intensities of the laser points within 10 Quercus robur trees by fitting their peak amplitudes into default Gaussian distributions and then analyzing the resulting asymmetric tails. Exploratory data analyses showed that the laser points lying within the distribution tails can indicate primary tree branches in a sketchy way. This suggests that the question can be positively answered, and the traditional restriction of airborne LiDAR in canopy mapping at the crown level has been broken. Overall, this study found a unique way to detect primary tree branches in airborne LiDAR data and pointed out how to explore more ways this optical intensity attribute of airborne LiDAR data can measure tree organs at fine scales and further learn their properties.

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© 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Topics

LIDAR ; Lasers

Citation

Yi Lin ; Lifu Zhang and Cheng Wang
"Airborne light detection and ranging laser return intensity-based investigation into crown-inside? A case study on Quercus robur trees", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 10(2), 026024 (May 27, 2016). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.10.026024


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