airborne lidar data acquisition for forestry acquisitions · airborne lidar data acquisition for...
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Airborne LiDAR Data Acquisition for Forestry Applications
Mischa Hey – WSI (Corvallis, OR)
WSI Services Corvallis, OR
Airborne Mapping: • Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)
• Thermal Infrared Imagery
• 4-Band Multi-Spectral Imagery
• Geodetic Survey
Analysis: • Forest Inventory and Vegetation Analysis
• Automated Feature Extraction.
• Water Quality Modeling.
• Fish & Wildlife Habitat Assessments.
Forest Research Affiliations
• Oregon State University – USFS PNW, Forest Sciences Laboratory, Corvallis.
• University of Washington – Precision Forestry Cooperative.
• USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station Moscow, ID.
• US Forest Service Research Lab, Portland and Seattle.
• Panther Creek LiDAR Research (BLM, EPA, Private Industry)
• LiDAR Concepts • Forest Applications
- Timber inventory, terrain mapping, roads, stream networks.
• Flight timing • Acquisition specifications • Processing needs • Product development
Heading (from IMU)
Lat/Long/EL (from GPS)
Roll (from IMU)
Pitch (from IMU)
Range and Intensity Scan Angle
Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)
Airborne LiDAR Terms
• Laser Wavelength • Field-of-View (FOV) • Pulse Density-
- Emitted pulses from sensor per unit area
• Return Density- - Pulses returning to sensor per unit area
• Discrete Return- - Individual return from emitted pulse
• Full Waveform- - Digitized entire wave returning to sensor
• Back-Scatter Intensity - Reflected energy from pulse
• Airborne instrumentation - GPS accuracy (PDOP, constellations) - IMU accuracy (drift, line length) - Base length < 13miles
• Ground control network
- Monument occupation - Control point distribution - Considerations: access,
security, sky visibility
Relative Accuracy (Line-to-Line Calibration)
Individual flight-line swaths are spatially integrated. Good relative accuracy is essential for vegetation analysis. Relative accuracy is good QC measure.
Ground Classified Points
Full Feature Classification
Automated algorithms Manual interpretation
Accurate classification is essential for model development.
False vegetation from offset
When to go and why…
• Leaf-on vs Leaf-off - Leaf-on => better canopy surface, spectral
info from intensity - Leaf-off => increased canopy penetration,
better ground model, hardwood/conifer distinction
• Climate and Other Factors - Snow, clouds, fog, smoke - Think broad patterns not specific days
• Find the balance: Leaf off, low flow, over
2,500 ft in PNW is tricky….
The important numbers…
• Side-lap and FOV - Decreases shadowing - Consistent point distribution
• Point density - Dictates resolution of information
available - Higher density => increased ground
returns, increased canopy detail (8 pts/sqm)
- Ground return density can be 1/10th the native density a heavily forested environment.
Flight Line 1 Flight Line 2
Point Density: More Points are Better
40pts/sqm 20pts/sqm 10pts/sqm 4pts/sqm 2pt/sqm
Real world examples
LiDAR Survey Settings & Specifications Sensor Leica ALS60
Survey Altitude (AGL) 800 m Target Pulse Rate 106 kHz
Sensor Configuration Single Pulse in Air (SPiA) Laser Pulse Diameter 19 cm
Field of View 28⁰ GPS Baselines ≤13 nm
GPS PDOP ≤3.0 GPS Satellite Constellation ≥6
Maximum Returns 4
ALS 60 LiDAR sensor
8-bit Resolution/Density Average 8 pulses/m2
Accuracy RMSEZ ≤ 15 cm
Sample 1,301 points 86 surfaces
Average -0.001 m 0.034 m
Median 0.000 mt 0.034 m
RMSE 0.023 m 0.033 m
1σ 0.024 m 0.016 ft
2σ 0.046 m 0.031 m
Classification Point Density
First-Return 10.75 points/m2
Ground Classified 6.03 points/m2
Treating the data right…
• LiDAR classification - Ground, vegetation, building, utilities - High, medium, low vegetation - Water surface, bridges/culverts
Line to Line Inconsistency
Streaking is Occurring Throughout Image
• Receiver auto-gain-control (AGC) • Laser power emission variations • Atmospheric transmissivity • Laser Angle of incidence
What should you buy…
Products - Basic • Point Cloud
- Classified and Calibrated Points (LAS)
• Surface models - Bare earth DEM, Canopy DSM, Canopy height
nDSM - Contours (requires smoothing tolerance)
• Intensity Image (normalized) • Report and Metadata!
Products - Advanced
• Feature extraction - Road networks - Stream networks - Hydro breaklines - Building footprints
• Feature analysis - Stand delineation and characterization - Individual tree inventory and attribution
Mapping yesterday’s tomorrow today…
• Discrete Return: Capture only the exact time of the peaks of independently-recognized return pulses.
• Most current systems record up to 4 returns. However, new systems are starting to have more dynamic return recording.
• Full Waveform (FWF): the entire return signal is measured, allowing capture of subtle deviations in the shape of the reflected as compared to the shape of the outbound laser pulse
Full Waveform Green LiDAR point cloud highlighting 7 returns digitized from 1 outgoing pulse using Riegl’s online waveform processing
Full-Waveform Considerations Advantages
• Detection of pulse stretching (return pulse wider than laser pulse) indicating:
• Low vegetation on ground, indicating need to adjust point elevation downward
• Improved classification by using combination of return pulse width and spatial context
• Indication of biomass by evaluating area contained under the pulse shape.
• Massive storage requirements often
require subsampling or switching drives during flight.
• More difficult to perform accurate geo-correction of the continuous wave-form.
• Limited software tools.
Multi-wavelength LiDAR • Applications:
o Forestry: Potential for species
delineation using return intensity information.
o Stream/Riparian: shallow water bathymetric data for surface water modeling, wetlands, and habitat assessment.
Green laser NIR laser
• Not all LiDAR is created equal. - High density, high accuracy are
• Consider all desired applications. - Get the most from your data.
• Talk to your vendors and outside experts.
- Find a trusted source and be specific about your goals
• Cost and quality are tightly correlated. - Cheaper data is cheaper for a reason.
2007 LiDAR 8 pulses/sq m
2005 LiDAR 2-3 pulses/sq m
Mischa Hey WSI- Corvallis, OR
[email protected] www.wsidata.com