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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(5), 5222-5255; doi:10.3390/rs70505222

End-to-End Simulation for a Forest-Dedicated Full-Waveform Lidar Onboard a Satellite Initialized from Airborne Ultraviolet Lidar Experiments

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l'Environnement, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives—Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique—Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Gif sur Yvette Cedex 91191, France
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Academic Editors: Peter Krzystek, Wei Yao, Yong Pang, Marco Heurich and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
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Abstract

In order to study forests at the global scale, a detailed link budget for a lidar system onboard satellite is presented. It is based on an original approach coupling airborne lidar observations and an end-to-end simulator. The simulator is initialized by airborne lidar measurements performed over temperate and tropical forests on the French territory, representing a wide range of forests ecosystems. Considering two complementary wavelengths of 355 and 1064 nm, the end-to-end simulator computes the performance of spaceborne lidar systems for different orbits. The analysis is based on forest structural (tree top height, quadratic mean canopy height) and optical (forest optical thickness) parameters. Although an ultraviolet lidar appears to be a good candidate for airborne measurements, our results show that the limited energy is not favorable for spaceborne missions with such a wavelength. A near infrared wavelength at 1064 nm is preferable, requiring ~100 mJ laser emitted energy, which is in agreement with current and future spaceborne missions involving a lidar. We find that the signal-to-noise ratio at the ground level to extract both the structural and optical parameters of forests must be larger than 10. Hence, considering the presence of clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere and assuming a stationary forest, a good detection probability of 99% can be reached when 4 or 5 satellite revisits are considered for a lidar system onboard the ISS or ICESat, respectively. This concerns ~90% of forest covers observed from the lidar, which have an optical thickness less than 3. View Full-Text
Keywords: link budget; spaceborne; canopy; lidar; simulation link budget; spaceborne; canopy; lidar; simulation
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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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Shang, X.; Chazette, P. End-to-End Simulation for a Forest-Dedicated Full-Waveform Lidar Onboard a Satellite Initialized from Airborne Ultraviolet Lidar Experiments. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 5222-5255.

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