Sensors 2010, 10(8), 7386-7403; doi:10.3390/s100807386

Observing the Forest Canopy with a New Ultra-Violet Compact Airborne Lidar

1,2,* email, 3email, 4email, 1email, 4email, 3email, 2email, 5email, 5email and 2email
Received: 6 May 2010; in revised form: 1 June 2010 / Accepted: 21 June 2010 / Published: 6 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: We have developed a new airborne UV lidar for the forest canopy and deployed it in the Landes forest (France). It is the first one that: (i) operates at 355 nm for emitting energetic pulses of 16 mJ at 20 Hz while fulfilling eye-safety regulations and (ii) is flown onboard an ultra-light airplane for enhanced flight flexibility. Laser footprints at ground level were 2.4 m wide for a flying altitude of 300 m. Three test areas of ~500 × 500 m2 with Maritime pines of different ages were investigated. We used a threshold method adapted for this lidar to accurately extract from its waveforms detailed forest canopy vertical structure: canopy top, tree crown base and undergrowth heights. Good detection sensitivity enabled the observation of ground returns underneath the trees. Statistical and one-to-one comparisons with ground measurements by field foresters indicated a mean absolute accuracy of ~1 m. Sensitivity tests on detection threshold showed the importance of signal to noise ratio and footprint size for a proper detection of the canopy vertical structure. This UV-lidar is intended for future innovative applications of simultaneous observation of forest canopy, laser-induced vegetation fluorescence and atmospheric aerosols.
Keywords: vegetation active remote sensing; laser; canopy lidar; airborne lidar; ultra-violet emission; ultra-light airplane
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cuesta, J.; Chazette, P.; Allouis, T.; Flamant, P.H.; Durrieu, S.; Sanak, J.; Genau, P.; Guyon, D.; Loustau, D.; Flamant, C. Observing the Forest Canopy with a New Ultra-Violet Compact Airborne Lidar. Sensors 2010, 10, 7386-7403.

AMA Style

Cuesta J, Chazette P, Allouis T, Flamant PH, Durrieu S, Sanak J, Genau P, Guyon D, Loustau D, Flamant C. Observing the Forest Canopy with a New Ultra-Violet Compact Airborne Lidar. Sensors. 2010; 10(8):7386-7403.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cuesta, Juan; Chazette, Patrick; Allouis, Tristan; Flamant, Pierre H.; Durrieu, Sylvie; Sanak, Joseph; Genau, Pascal; Guyon, Dominique; Loustau, Denis; Flamant, Cyrille. 2010. "Observing the Forest Canopy with a New Ultra-Violet Compact Airborne Lidar." Sensors 10, no. 8: 7386-7403.

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