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A LiDAR-Based System to Assess Poplar Biomass

Ein LiDAR-basiertes System um Biomasse von Pappelbäumen zu bewerten

Abstract

This study evaluated the capabilities of a LiDAR-based system to characterize poplar trees for biomass production. The precision of the system was assessed by analyzing the relationship between the distance records and biophysical parameters. The terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) system consisted of a 2D time-of-flight LiDAR sensor, a gimbal to dynamically stabilize the sensor and a RTK-GPS to georeference its location and, subsequently, the sensor data. The sensor and its stabilizer were fixed facing downwards, on a metal frame designed for this purpose. Then, it was mounted on an all-terrain vehicle to perform 2D scans in planes perpendicular to the travel direction. Distances between the sensor and the surrounding objects had a high spatial resolution, providing high density 3D point clouds. Results on the reliability of the LiDAR system to estimate plant height showed a significant relationship between the sensor readings and actual poplar height and biomass data. In addition, tree biomass and tree volume were properly estimated in the point cloud. Regression analysis showed significant estimates of 0.79 and 0.89 for biomass and volume, respectively. These results reveal the potential of the LiDAR sensor to estimate both, plant height and plant biomass. This sensor’s capability, added to its relative low cost, fast reaction, and the high number of readings per second consolidate the ideal system for estimating the productivity of biomass in energy crops.

Zusammenfassung

In dieser Studie wurden die Fähigkeiten eines LiDAR-basierten Systems zur Charakterisierung der Biomasseproduktion von Pappelbäumen untersucht. Die Genauigkeit des Systems wurde durch Analyse der Beziehung zwischen dem Abstand und den biophysikalischen Parametern bewertet. Das terrestrische Laserscanner (TLS)-System bestand aus einem 2D-Flugzeit-LiDAR-Sensor, einer kardanischen Aufhängung für die dynamische Stabilisierung des Sensors und einem RTK-GPS für die Georeferenzierung innerhalb des Feldes und der resultierenden Sensordaten. Der Sensor und sein Stabilisator wurden auf einem für diesen Zweck ausgelegten Metallrahmen nach unten ausgerichtet und anschließend auf einem Geländefahrzeug montiert, sodass 2D-Scans in Ebenen senkrecht zur Fahrrichtung durchgeführt werden konnten. Die Entfernungen zwischen Sensor und den umliegenden Objekten hatte eine hohe räumliche Auflösung und lieferte so eine höhere Dichte der 3D-Punktwolken. Die Ergebnisse der Funktionsfähigkeit des LiDAR-Systems zur Bestimmung der Pflanzenhöhe zeigten eine starke Beziehung zwischen den Sensormesswerten und der tatsächlichen Höhe der Pappeln und der Biomassedaten. Darüber hinaus wurden die Baum-Biomasse und das Baumvolumen in der Punktwolke richtig geschätzt. Die Regressionsanalyse zeigte signifikante Schätzungen von 0,79 bzw. 0,89 für Biomasse und Volumen. Diese Ergebnisse zeigen deutlich das Potenzial des LiDAR-Sensors, um sowohl Pflanzenhöhe als auch pflanzliche Biomasse abzuschätzen. Das Leistungsvermögen dieses Sensors – zusätzlich zu relativ geringen Kosten, schneller Reaktion und hoher Zahl an Messwerten pro Sekunde – konsolidiert das ideale System, um die Produktivität von Biomasse in Energiepflanzen zu bewerten

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Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the CICyT (Commision Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnología, Spain), under Agreement No. AGL2011-25243 and AGL2014-52465-C4.

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Correspondence to D. Andújar.

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Andújar, D., Escolà, A., Rosell-Polo, J.R. et al. A LiDAR-Based System to Assess Poplar Biomass. Gesunde Pflanzen 68, 155–162 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10343-016-0369-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10343-016-0369-1

Keywords

  • Energy crops
  • Productivity assessment
  • Terrestrial LiDAR
  • Plant structure

Schlüsselwörter

  • Energiepflanzen
  • Abschätzung der Produktivität
  • Terrestrische LiDAR-Sensor
  • Pflanzenstruktur