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MLAOS: A Multi-Point Linear Array of Optical Sensors for Coniferous Foliage Clumping Index Measurement

State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Key Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Environment and Digital Cities, School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2014, 14(5), 9271-9289;
Received: 6 January 2014 / Revised: 23 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 23 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors, Control, and Telemetry)
PDF [1261 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: optical sensor; linear array; clumping index; coniferous optical sensor; linear array; clumping index; coniferous

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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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.

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