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Article

Comparative Analysis of Multi-Platform, Multi-Resolution, Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data for Forest Inventory

1
Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William W. Hargrove
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(3), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14030649
Received: 22 December 2021 / Revised: 19 January 2022 / Accepted: 27 January 2022 / Published: 29 January 2022
LiDAR technology is rapidly evolving as various new systems emerge, providing unprecedented data to characterize forest vertical structure. Data from different LiDAR systems present distinct characteristics owing to a combined effect of sensor specifications, data acquisition strategies, as well as forest conditions such as tree density and canopy cover. Comparative analysis of multi-platform, multi-resolution, and multi-temporal LiDAR data provides guidelines for selecting appropriate LiDAR systems and data processing tools for different research questions, and thus is of crucial importance. This study presents a comprehensive comparison of point clouds from four systems, linear and Geiger-mode LiDAR from manned aircraft and multi-beam LiDAR on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and in-house developed Backpack, with the consideration of different forest canopy cover scenarios. The results suggest that the proximal Backpack LiDAR can provide the finest level of information, followed by UAV LiDAR, Geiger-mode LiDAR, and linear LiDAR. The emerging Geiger-mode LiDAR can capture a significantly higher level of detail while operating at a higher altitude as compared to the traditional linear LiDAR. The results also show: (1) canopy cover percentage has a critical impact on the ability of aerial and terrestrial systems to acquire information corresponding to the lower and upper portions of the tree canopy, respectively; (2) all the systems can obtain adequate ground points for digital terrain model generation irrespective of canopy cover conditions; and (3) point clouds from different systems are in agreement within a ±3 cm and ±7 cm range along the vertical and planimetric directions, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: LiDAR; Geiger-mode; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV); backpack; forest inventory; relative accuracy; point density LiDAR; Geiger-mode; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV); backpack; forest inventory; relative accuracy; point density
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, Y.-C.; Shao, J.; Shin, S.-Y.; Saka, Z.; Joseph, M.; Manish, R.; Fei, S.; Habib, A. Comparative Analysis of Multi-Platform, Multi-Resolution, Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data for Forest Inventory. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 649. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14030649

AMA Style

Lin Y-C, Shao J, Shin S-Y, Saka Z, Joseph M, Manish R, Fei S, Habib A. Comparative Analysis of Multi-Platform, Multi-Resolution, Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data for Forest Inventory. Remote Sensing. 2022; 14(3):649. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14030649

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lin, Yi-Chun, Jinyuan Shao, Sang-Yeop Shin, Zainab Saka, Mina Joseph, Raja Manish, Songlin Fei, and Ayman Habib. 2022. "Comparative Analysis of Multi-Platform, Multi-Resolution, Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data for Forest Inventory" Remote Sensing 14, no. 3: 649. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14030649

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