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2 July 1997 Analysis of laser altimeter waveforms for forested ecosystems of Central Florida
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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.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
John F. Weishampel, David J. Harding, Jeffry C. Boutet Jr., and Jason B. Drake "Analysis of laser altimeter waveforms for forested ecosystems of Central Florida", Proc. SPIE 3059, Advances in Laser Remote Sensing for Terrestrial and Oceanographic Applications, (2 July 1997);


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