Laser scanning measures positions on objects using light pulses. Measurement coordinates are used to calculate forest area statistics and estimate different forest parameters.
In airborne laser scanning, positions are measured on objects such as the ground and tree crowns. Location and direction of the sensor, as well as distance measurement, gives the position of the reflections as 3D points. The distribution of these measurement coordinates can be used to compute statistics on a forest area and estimate forest parameters such as wood volume, biomass or stand height. In addition, in dense forest areas, it is possible to detect and determine the characteristics of individual trees.
Ground-based laser scanning provides a series of 3D points with intensity for the reflected laser measurements. From the data set, both a distance image and an intensity image can be created. The distance image can be used to automatically measure tree stems on a field plot.