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Sensors 2011, 11(6), 5769-5791; doi:10.3390/s110605769

Innovative LIDAR 3D Dynamic Measurement System to Estimate Fruit-Tree Leaf Area

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1 Department of Agro-forestry Engineering, University of Lleida, Avinguda Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain 2 Department of AgriFood Engineering and Biotechnology, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Campus del Baix Llobregat, edifici D4, Av. del Canal Olímpic, s/n 08860 Castelldefels, Spain 3 Centre de Mecanització Agrària, Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Natural Environment, Generalitat de Catalunya, 25197 Lleida, Spain 4 Department of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering, University of Lleida, Av. Jaume II 69, 25197 Lleida, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2011 / Revised: 9 May 2011 / Accepted: 12 May 2011 / Published: 27 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)


In this work, a LIDAR-based 3D Dynamic Measurement System is presented and evaluated for the geometric characterization of tree crops. Using this measurement system, trees were scanned from two opposing sides to obtain two three-dimensional point clouds. After registration of the point clouds, a simple and easily obtainable parameter is the number of impacts received by the scanned vegetation. The work in this study is based on the hypothesis of the existence of a linear relationship between the number of impacts of the LIDAR sensor laser beam on the vegetation and the tree leaf area. Tests performed under laboratory conditions using an ornamental tree and, subsequently, in a pear tree orchard demonstrate the correct operation of the measurement system presented in this paper. The results from both the laboratory and field tests confirm the initial hypothesis and the 3D Dynamic Measurement System is validated in field operation. This opens the door to new lines of research centred on the geometric characterization of tree crops in the field of agriculture and, more specifically, in precision fruit growing.
Keywords: terrestrial laser scanner; LIDAR; 3D plant structure; fruit tree; leaf area terrestrial laser scanner; LIDAR; 3D plant structure; fruit tree; leaf area
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.

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Sanz-Cortiella, R.; Llorens-Calveras, J.; Escolà, A.; Arnó-Satorra, J.; Ribes-Dasi, M.; Masip-Vilalta, J.; Camp, F.; Gràcia-Aguilá, F.; Solanelles-Batlle, F.; Planas-DeMartí, S.; Pallejà-Cabré, T.; Palacin-Roca, J.; Gregorio-Lopez, E.; Del-Moral-Martínez, I.; Rosell-Polo, J.R. Innovative LIDAR 3D Dynamic Measurement System to Estimate Fruit-Tree Leaf Area. Sensors 2011, 11, 5769-5791.

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