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Im, Jungho
Intelligent Remote sensing and geospatial Information Science Lab.
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Towards accurate individual tree parameters estimation in dense forest: optimized coarse-to-fine algorithms for registering UAV and terrestrial LiDAR data

Zhao, YutingIm, JunghoZhen, ZhenZhao, Yinghui
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GISCIENCE & REMOTE SENSING, v.60, no.1, pp.2197281
Accurate quantification of individual tree parameters is vital for precise forest inventory and sustainable forest management. However, in dense forests, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), which can provide accurate and detailed forest structural measurements, is limited to capturing the complete tree structure due to the lack of upper canopy views, resulting in an underestimation of tree height. Combining TLS with unmanned aerial vehicle laser scanning (ULS) is an effective way to overcome this limitation. Thus, it is vital to register multi-platform Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data for various forestry applications. This study proposed three automated and nearly parameter-free optimized coarse-to-fine algorithms (i.e. FPFH-based optimized ICP (F-OICP), RANSAC-based optimized ICP (R-OICP), and NDT-based optimized ICP (N-OICP)) to accurately register TLS and ULS point data for individual tree crown delineation and parameters (diameter at breast height (DBH) and tree height) estimations in different forest types (i.e. coniferous, mixed broadleaf-coniferous, and broadleaf). Results showed that the proposed optimized algorithms had a good registration performance, with an average RMSE of about 8.3 cm for the transformation error; and obtained stable and high accuracies of individual tree crown delineation (ITCD) (F-score: 0.7), DBH (R-2: 0.9, RMSE <1.85 cm), and tree height (R-2: 0.8, RMSE <0.37 m) estimates for three forest types. F-OICP performed the best in tree height estimation, reducing the RMSE by 48%, 12%, and 12% compared to iterative closest point (ICP), R-OICP, and N-OICP, respectively. Stand type significantly impacted ITCD and individual tree parameter estimations. The ITCD and DBH estimation accuracy of coniferous forests were marginally higher than those of broadleaf forests (F-score: 0.78 vs. 0.78, DBH RMSE: 1.57 vs. 1.74), while those of mixed broadleaf-coniferous forests were the lowest (F-score: 0.71, DBH RMSE: 2.19). The accuracies of tree height estimates in coniferous forests were the highest (R-2: 0.87, RMSE: 0.21 m), followed by mixed broadleaf-coniferous (R-2: 0.84, RMSE: 0.37 m) and broadleaf (R-2: 0.84, RMSE: 0.44 m) forests. This work developed automated, nearly parameter-free, and effective registration algorithms and recommended F-OICP to be the most appropriate for dense forests (i.e. natural secondary forests). The optimized registration algorithms facilitate the ability for the synergistic use of multi-platform LiDAR and offer appealing and promising approaches for future accurate quantification of individual tree parameters, efficient forest inventories, and sustainable forest management.
Keyword (Author)
TLSULSregistrationcoarse-to-fineoptimized ICP


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