Using the Rapid-Scanning, Ultra-Portable, Canopy Biomass Lidar (CBL) Alone and In Tandem with the Full-Waveform Dual-Wavelength Echidna® Lidar (DWEL) to Establish Forest Structure and Biomass Estimates in a Variety of Ecosystems
Abstract:Terrestrial lidars are increasingly being deployed in a variety of ecosystems to calibrate and validate large scale airborne and spaceborne estimates of forest structure and biomass. While these lidars provide a wealth of high resolution information on canopy structure and understory vegetation, they tend to be expensive, slow scanning and somewhat ponderous to deploy. Therefore, frequent deployments and characterization of larger areas of a hectare or more can still be challenging. This suggests a role for low cost, ultra-portable, rapid scanning (but lower resolution) instruments -- particularly in scanning extreme environments and as a way to augment and extend strategically placed scans from the more highly capable lidars.
The Canopy Biomass Lidar (CBL) is an inexpensive, highly portable, fast-scanning (33 seconds), time-of-flight, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) instrument, built in collaboration with RIT, by U Mass Boston. The instrument uses a 905nm SICK time of flight laser with a 0.25o resolution and 30m range. The higher resolution, full-waveform Dual Wavelength Echidna® Lidar (DWEL), developed by Boston University, U Mass Lowell and U Mass Boston, builds on the Australian CSIRO single wavelength, full-waveform Echidna® Validation Instrument (EVI), but utilizes two simultaneous laser pulses at 1064 and 1548 nm to separate woody returns from those of foliage at a range of up to 100m range.
The UMass Boston CBL has been deployed in rangelands (San Joaquin Experimental Range, CA), high altitude conifers (Sierra National Forest, CA), mixed forests (Harvard Forest LTER MA), tropical forests (La Selva and Sirena Biological Stations, Costa Rica), eucalypts (Karawatha, Brisbane TERN, Australia), and woodlands (Alice Holt Forest, UK), frequently along-side the DWEL, as well as in more challenging environments such as mangrove forests (Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica) and Massachusetts salt marshes and eroding bluffs (Plum Island LTER, and UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station). Multiple hemispherical point clouds can be combined to generate detailed reconstructions of ecosystem biomass and structure. By combining these scans and reconstructions, the strengths of the DWEL can be coupled with the speed and portability of the CBL to extrapolate comprehensive structure information to larger areas.