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Proceedings Paper

Analysis of laser altimeter waveforms for forested ecosystems of Central Florida
Author(s): John F. Weishampel; David J. Harding; Jeffry C. Boutet Jr.; Jason B. Drake
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Paper Abstract

An experimental profiling airborne laser altimeter system developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center was used to acquire vertical canopy data from several ecosystem types from The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve, near Kissimmee, Florida. This laser altimeter, besides providing submeter accuracy of tree height, captures a profile of data which relates to the magnitude of reflectivity of the laser pulse as it penetrates different elevations of the forest canopy. This complete time varying amplitude of the return signal of the laser pulse, between the first (i.e., the canopy top) and last (i.e., the ground) returns, yields a waveform which is related to canopy architecture, specifically the nadir-projected vertical distribution of the surface of canopy components (i.e., foliage, twigs, and branches). Selected profile returns from representative covertypes (e.g., pine flatwoods, bayhead, and cypress wetland) were compared with ground truthed forest composition (i.e., species and size class distribution) and structural (i.e., canopy height, canopy closure, crown depth) measures to help understand how these properties contribute to variation in the altimeter waveform.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3059, Advances in Laser Remote Sensing for Terrestrial and Oceanographic Applications, (2 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277613
Show Author Affiliations
John F. Weishampel, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
David J. Harding, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jeffry C. Boutet Jr., Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Jason B. Drake, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3059:
Advances in Laser Remote Sensing for Terrestrial and Oceanographic Applications
Ram Mohan Narayanan; James E. Kalshoven Jr., Editor(s)

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