20 May 2013 Reconstruction of 3D tree stem models from low-cost terrestrial laser scanner data
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With the development of increasingly advanced airborne sensing systems, there is a growing need to support sensor system design, modeling, and product-algorithm development with explicit 3D structural ground truth commensurate to the scale of acquisition. Terrestrial laser scanning is one such technique which could provide this structural information. Commercial instrumentation to suit this purpose has existed for some time now, but cost can be a prohibitive barrier for some applications. As such we recently developed a unique laser scanning system from readily-available components, supporting low cost, highly portable, and rapid measurement of below-canopy 3D forest structure. Tools were developed to automatically reconstruct tree stem models as an initial step towards virtual forest scene generation. The objective of this paper is to assess the potential of this hardware/algorithm suite to reconstruct 3D stem information for a single scan of a New England hardwood forest site. Detailed tree stem structure (e.g., taper, sweep, and lean) is recovered for trees of varying diameter, species, and range from the sensor. Absolute stem diameter retrieval accuracy is 12.5%, with a 4.5% overestimation bias likely due to the LiDAR beam divergence.
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Dave Kelbe, Dave Kelbe, Paul Romanczyk, Paul Romanczyk, Jan van Aardt, Jan van Aardt, Kerry Cawse-Nicholson, Kerry Cawse-Nicholson, "Reconstruction of 3D tree stem models from low-cost terrestrial laser scanner data", Proc. SPIE 8731, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XVIII, 873106 (20 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2015963; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2015963

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