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    Author(s): Stephen E. Reutebuch; Hans-Erik Andersen; Robert J. McGaughey
    Date: 2005
    Source: Journal of Forestry: 286-292
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.3 MB)


    Airborne laser scanning of forests has been shown to provide accurate terrain models and, at the same time, estimates of multiple resource inventory variables through active sensing of three-dimensional (3D) forest vegetation. Brief overviews of airborne laser scanning technology [often referred to as "light detection and ranging" (LIDAR)] and research findings on its use in forest measurement and monitoring are presented. Currently, many airborne laser scanning missions are flown with specifications designed for terrain mapping, often resulting in data sets that do not contain key information needed for vegetation measurement. Therefore, standards and specifications for airborne laser scanning missions are needed to insure their usefulness for vegetation measurement and monitoring, rather than simply terrain mapping (e.g., delivery of all return data with reflection intensity). Five simple, easily understood LIDAR-derived forest data products are identified that would help insure hot forestry needs are considered when multiresource LIDAR missions are flown. Once standards are developed, there is an opportunity to maximize the value of permanent ground plot remeasurements by also collecting airborne laser data over a limited number of plots each year.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Reutebuch, Stephen E.; Andersen, Hans-Erik; McGaughey, Robert J. 2005. Light detection and ranging (LIDAR): an emerging tool for multiple resource inventory. Journal of Forestry: 286-292


    LIDAR, airborne laser scanning, forest inventory, forest structure, forest monitoring

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