Analysis of full waveform airborne LIDAR remote sensing data for the individual tree inventory in Australian forestry

by Hongjoo Park

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Civil & Environmental Engineering
Year: 2014
Keywords: Tree Inventory; Lidar; Remote sensing
Record ID: 1059572
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/53789


Many researchers have attempted to analyse tree canopy height using remote sensing techniques. Airborne laser scanning is especially valuable since it provides a cost-effective, versatile, operationally flexible and robust sampling tool for forest management. Airborne laser scanning is able to provide full waveform lidar data that has a potential use for precision forestry. The aim of this study is to determine the accuracy of tree height measurement from waveform lidar processing techniques and to compare with alternative height extraction methods waveform lidar was acquired at different densities of more than 2 points/m2, over a pine plantation test area in NSW, Australia. Initially, this study outlines the development of a pine tree canopy height measuring procedure, and then evaluates its sensitivity and limitations using airborne lidar data. An additional TLS measurement of tree canopy surface is introduced to further improve the analysis of tree height. Finally, these procedures are tested over an actual forest study site and compared against field base tree height. The effect on accuracy of canopy height for varying densities and pine trees of varying ages and growth is examined. The differences between the outputs derived by the full waveform lidar are compared with traditional field survey techniques and ground-based Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS).