Seamless integration of above- and under-canopy unmanned aerial vehicle laser scanning for forest investigation

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/327496

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Wang , Y , Kukko , A , Hyyppä , E , Hakala , T , Pyörälä , J , Lehtomäki , M , El Issaoui , A , Yu , X , Kaartinen , H , Liang , X & Hyyppä , J 2021 , ' Seamless integration of above- and under-canopy unmanned aerial vehicle laser scanning for forest investigation ' , Forest Ecosystems , vol. 8 , 10 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s40663-021-00290-3

Title: Seamless integration of above- and under-canopy unmanned aerial vehicle laser scanning for forest investigation
Author: Wang, Yunsheng; Kukko, Antero; Hyyppä, Eric; Hakala, Teemu; Pyörälä, Jiri; Lehtomäki, Matti; El Issaoui, Aimad; Yu, Xiaowei; Kaartinen, Harri; Liang, Xinlian; Hyyppä, Juha
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
Date: 2021-02-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: Forest Ecosystems
ISSN: 2095-6355
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/327496
Abstract: BackgroundCurrent automated forest investigation is facing a dilemma over how to achieve high tree- and plot-level completeness while maintaining a high cost and labor efficiency. This study tackles the challenge by exploring a new concept that enables an efficient fusion of aerial and terrestrial perspectives for digitizing and characterizing individual trees in forests through an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that flies above and under canopies in a single operation. The advantage of such concept is that the aerial perspective from the above-canopy UAV and the terrestrial perspective from the under-canopy UAV can be seamlessly integrated in one flight, thus grants the access to simultaneous high completeness, high efficiency, and low cost.ResultsIn the experiment, an approximately 0.5ha forest was covered in ca. 10min from takeoff to landing. The GNSS-IMU based positioning supports a geometric accuracy of the produced point cloud that is equivalent to that of the mobile mapping systems, which leads to a 2-4cm RMSE of the diameter at the breast height estimates, and a 4-7cm RMSE of the stem curve estimates.ConclusionsResults of the experiment suggested that the integrated flight is capable of combining the high completeness of upper canopies from the above-canopy perspective and the high completeness of stems from the terrestrial perspective. Thus, it is a solution to combine the advantages of the terrestrial static, the mobile, and the above-canopy UAV observations, which is a promising step forward to achieve a fully autonomous in situ forest inventory. Future studies should be aimed to further improve the platform positioning, and to automatize the UAV operation.
Subject: Forest
In situ
Inventory
Above canopy
Under canopy
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Laser scanning
Point cloud
Close range remote sensing
4112 Forestry
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