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An assessment of the repeatability of automatic forest inventory metrics derived from UAV-borne laser scanning data


Wallace, L and Musk, R and Lucieer, A, An assessment of the repeatability of automatic forest inventory metrics derived from UAV-borne laser scanning data, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 52, (11) pp. 7160-7169. ISSN 0196-2892 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 IEEE

DOI: doi:10.1109/TGRS.2014.2308208


We assessed the reproducibility of forest inventory metrics derived from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) laser scanning (UAVLS) system. A total of 82 merged point clouds were captured over six 500-m2 plots within a Eucalyptus globulus plantation forest in Tasmania, Australia. Terrain and understory height, together with plot- and tree-level metrics, were extracted from the UAVLS point clouds using automated methods and compared across the multiple point clouds. The results show that measurements of terrain and understory height and plot-level metrics can be reproduced with adequate repeatability for change detection purposes. At the tree level, the high-density data collected by the UAV provided estimates of tree location (mean deviation (MD) of less than 0.48 m) and tree height (MD of 0.35 m) with high precision. This precision is comparable to that of ground-based field measurement techniques. The estimates of crown area and crown volume were found to be dependent on the segmentation routine and, as such, were measured with lower repeatability. The precision of the metrics found within this paper demonstrates the applicability of UAVs as a platform for performing sample-based forest inventories.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:UAV, LiDAR, repeatability, forest inventory, remote sensing, remotely piloted aircraft, forestry, lasers
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Geomatic engineering
Research Field:Photogrammetry and remote sensing
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Wallace, L (Dr Luke Wallace)
UTAS Author:Lucieer, A (Professor Arko Lucieer)
ID Code:93117
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:61
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2014-07-14
Last Modified:2017-10-24

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