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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(7), 712; doi:10.3390/app7070712

Simulating the Effects of the Airborne Lidar Scanning Angle, Flying Altitude, and Pulse Density for Forest Foliage Profile Retrieval

1
Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
School of Civil Engineer and Architecture, Jishou University, Jishou 427099, China
4
Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 10 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laser Scanning)
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Abstract

Foliage profile is a key biophysical parameter for forests. Airborne Light Detection and Ranging is an effective tool for vegetation parameter retrieval. Data acquisition conditions influence the estimation of biophysical parameters. To acquire accurate foliage profiles at the lowest cost, we used simulations to explore the effects of data acquisition conditions on forest foliage profile retrieval. First, a 3-D forest scene and the airborne small-footprint full-waveform LiDAR data were simulated by the DART model. Second, the foliage profile was estimated from LiDAR data based on a Geometric Optical and Radiative Transfer model. Lastly, the effects of the airborne LiDAR scanning angle, flying altitude, and pulse density on foliage profile retrieval were explored. The results indicated that the scanning angle was an important factor in the foliage profile retrieval, and the optimal scanning angle was 20°. The optimal scanning angle was independent of flying altitude and pulse density, and combinations of multiple scanning angles could improve the accuracy of the foliage profile estimation. The flying altitude and pulse density had little influence on foliage profile retrieval at plot level and could be ignored. In general, our study provides reliable information for selecting the optimal instrument operational parameters to acquire more accurate foliage profiles and minimize data acquisition costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: airborne full-waveform LiDAR; forest foliage profile; scanning angle; flying altitude; pulse density airborne full-waveform LiDAR; forest foliage profile; scanning angle; flying altitude; pulse density
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Qin, H.; Wang, C.; Xi, X.; Tian, J.; Zhou, G. Simulating the Effects of the Airborne Lidar Scanning Angle, Flying Altitude, and Pulse Density for Forest Foliage Profile Retrieval. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 712.

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