VOXEL BASED REPRESENTATION OF FULL-WAVEFORM AIRBORNE LASER SCANNER DATA FOR FORESTRY APPLICATIONS
Keywords: Full-waveform airborne laser scanning, Voxel space, Ray tracing, Forest, Filtering
Abstract. The advantages of using airborne full-waveform laser scanner data in forest applications, e.g. for the description of the vertical vegetation structure or accurate biomass estimation, have been emphasized in many publications. To exploit the full potential offered by airborne full-waveform laser scanning data, the development of voxel based methods for data analysis is essential. In contrast to existing approaches based on the extraction of discrete 3D points by a Gaussian decomposition, it is very promising to derive the voxel attributes from the digitised waveform directly. For this purpose, the waveform data have to be transferred into a 3D voxel representation. This requires a series of radiometric and geometric transformations of the raw full-waveform laser scanner data. Thus, the paper deals with the geometric aspects and describes a processing chain from the raw waveform data to an attenuationcorrected volumetric forest stand reconstruction.
The integration of attenuation-corrected waveform data into the voxel space is realised with an efficient parametric voxel traversal method operating on an octree data structure. The voxel attributes are derived from the amplitudes of the attenuation-corrected waveforms. Additionally, a new 3D filtering approach is presented to eliminate non-object voxel. Applying these methods to real full-waveform laser scanning data, a voxel based representation of a spruce was generated combining three flight strips from different viewing directions.