Directional effects in remotely sensed reflectance data can influence the retrieval of plant biophysical and biochemical estimates. Previous studies have demonstrated that directional measurements contain added information that may increase the accuracy of estimated plant structural parameters. Because accurate biochemistry mapping is linked to vegetation structure, also models to estimate canopy nitrogen concentration (C<sub>N</sub>) may be improved indirectly from using multiangular data. Hyperspectral imagery with five different viewing zenith angles was acquired by the spaceborne CHRIS sensor over a forest study site in Switzerland. Fifteen canopy reflectance spectra corresponding to subplots of field-sampled trees were extracted from the preprocessed CHRIS images and subsequently two-term models were developed by regressing C<sub>N</sub> on four datasets comprising either original or continuum-removed reflectances. Consideration is given to the directional sensitivity of the C<sub>N</sub> estimation by generating regression models based on various combinations (n=15) of observation angles. The results of this study show that estimating canopy C<sub>N</sub> with only nadir data is not optimal irrespective of spectral data processing. Moreover adding multiangular information improves significantly the regression model fits and thus the retrieval of forest canopy biochemistry. These findings support the potential of multiangular Earth observations also for application-oriented ecological monitoring.
Spectro-directional surface measurements can either be performed in the field or within a laboratory setup. Laboratory measurements have the advantage of constant illumination and neglectable atmospheric disturbances. On the other hand, artificial light sources are usually less parallel and less homogeneous than the clear sky solar illumination. To account for these differences and for determining for which targets a replacement of field by laboratory experiments is indeed feasible, a quantitative comparison is a prerequisite. Currently, there exists no systematic comparison of field and laboratory measurements using the same targets.
In this study we concentrate on the difference in spectro-directional field and laboratory data of the same target due to diffuse illumination. The field data were corrected for diffuse illumination following the proposed procedure by Martonchik . Spectro-directional data were obtained with a GER3700 spectroradiometer. In the field, a MFR sun photometer directly observed the total incoming diffuse irradiance. In the laboratory, a 1000W brightness-stabilized quartz tungsten halogen lamp was used. For the first direct comparison of field and laboratory measurements, we used an artificial and inert target with high angular anisotropy. Analysis shows that the diffuse illumination in the field is leading to a higher total reflectance and less pronounced angular anisotropy.