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Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041187

A Novel LiDAR-Based Instrument for High-Throughput, 3D Measurement of Morphological Traits in Maize and Sorghum

1
Department of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
2
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA
3
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

Recently, imaged-based approaches have developed rapidly for high-throughput plant phenotyping (HTPP). Imaging reduces a 3D plant into 2D images, which makes the retrieval of plant morphological traits challenging. We developed a novel LiDAR-based phenotyping instrument to generate 3D point clouds of single plants. The instrument combined a LiDAR scanner with a precision rotation stage on which an individual plant was placed. A LabVIEW program was developed to control the scanning and rotation motion, synchronize the measurements from both devices, and capture a 360° view point cloud. A data processing pipeline was developed for noise removal, voxelization, triangulation, and plant leaf surface reconstruction. Once the leaf digital surfaces were reconstructed, plant morphological traits, including individual and total leaf area, leaf inclination angle, and leaf angular distribution, were derived. The system was tested with maize and sorghum plants. The results showed that leaf area measurements by the instrument were highly correlated with the reference methods (R2 > 0.91 for individual leaf area; R2 > 0.95 for total leaf area of each plant). Leaf angular distributions of the two species were also derived. This instrument could fill a critical technological gap for indoor HTPP of plant morphological traits in 3D. View Full-Text
Keywords: high-throughput plant phenotyping; leaf area; leaf inclination angle; leaf angular distribution; 3D point cloud; LiDAR high-throughput plant phenotyping; leaf area; leaf inclination angle; leaf angular distribution; 3D point cloud; LiDAR
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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. (CC BY 4.0).
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Thapa, S.; Zhu, F.; Walia, H.; Yu, H.; Ge, Y. A Novel LiDAR-Based Instrument for High-Throughput, 3D Measurement of Morphological Traits in Maize and Sorghum. Sensors 2018, 18, 1187.

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