Abstract: The canopy foliage clumping effect is primarily caused by the non-random distribution of canopy foliage. Currently, measurements of clumping index (CI) by handheld instruments is typically time- and labor-intensive. We propose a low-cost and low-power automatic measurement system called Multi-point Linear Array of Optical Sensors (MLAOS), which consists of three above-canopy and nine below-canopy optical sensors that capture plant transmittance at different times of the day. Data communication between the MLAOS node is facilitated by using a ZigBee network, and the data are transmitted from the field MLAOS to a remote data server using the Internet. The choice of the electronic element and design of the MLAOS software is aimed at reducing costs and power consumption. A power consumption test showed that, when a 4000 mAH Li-ion battery is used, a maximum of 8–10 months of work can be achieved. A field experiment on a coniferous forest revealed that the CI of MLAOS may reveal a clumping effect that occurs within the canopy. In further work, measurement of the multi-scale clumping effect can be achieved by utilizing a greater number of MLAOS devices to capture the heterogeneity of the plant canopy.
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Qu, Y.; Fu, L.; Han, W.; Zhu, Y.; Wang, J. MLAOS: A Multi-Point Linear Array of Optical Sensors for Coniferous Foliage Clumping Index Measurement. Sensors 2014, 14, 9271-9289.
Qu Y, Fu L, Han W, Zhu Y, Wang J. MLAOS: A Multi-Point Linear Array of Optical Sensors for Coniferous Foliage Clumping Index Measurement. Sensors. 2014; 14(5):9271-9289.
Qu, Yonghua; Fu, Lizhe; Han, Wenchao; Zhu, Yeqing; Wang, Jindi. 2014. "MLAOS: A Multi-Point Linear Array of Optical Sensors for Coniferous Foliage Clumping Index Measurement." Sensors 14, no. 5: 9271-9289.