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Proceedings Paper

Modeling of forest canopy BRDF using DIRSIG
Author(s): Rajagopalan Rengarajan; John R. Schott
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Paper Abstract

The characterization and temporal analysis of multispectral and hyperspectral data to extract the biophysical information of the Earth's surface can be significantly improved by understanding its aniosotropic reflectance properties, which are best described by a Bi-directional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF). The advancements in the field of remote sensing techniques and instrumentation have made hyperspectral BRDF measurements in the field possible using sophisticated goniometers. However, natural surfaces such as forest canopies impose limitations on both the data collection techniques, as well as, the range of illumination angles that can be collected from the field. These limitations can be mitigated by measuring BRDF in a virtual environment. This paper presents an approach to model the spectral BRDF of a forest canopy using the Digital Image and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) model. A synthetic forest canopy scene is constructed by modeling the 3D geometries of different tree species using OnyxTree software. The field collected spectra from the Harvard forest is used to represent the optical properties of the tree elements. The canopy radiative transfer is estimated using the DIRSIG model for specific view and illumination angles to generate BRDF measurements. A full hemispherical BRDF is generated by fitting the measured BRDF to a semi-empirical BRDF model. The results from fitting the model to the measurement indicates a root mean square error of less than 5% (2 reflectance units) relative to the forest's reflectance in the VIS-NIR-SWIR region. The process can be easily extended to generate a spectral BRDF library for various biomes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2016
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 9840, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XXII, 98401F (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223354
Show Author Affiliations
Rajagopalan Rengarajan, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
John R. Schott, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9840:
Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XXII
Miguel Velez-Reyes; David W. Messinger, Editor(s)

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