INTEGRATION OF IPHONE LiDAR WITH QUADCOPTER AND FIXED WING UAV PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR THE FORESTRY APPLICATIONS
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), iPhone LiDAR, photogrammetry, forestry, point clouds, data integration
Abstract. The recent innovations in remote sensing technologies have given rise to the efficient mapping and monitoring of forests. The developments in the sensor implementation have mainly focused on optimizing the payload of the UAV system and allowed the users to acquire the data simultaneously with a range of active and passive sensors like high-resolution RGB cameras and multispectral cameras LiDAR (Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging). The main objective of this research contribution is to combine the Digital Elevation Model (DEMs) from quadcopter Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Fixed Wing UAV-based cameras, and iPhone datasets for the forest plots. The datasets from two vegetation seasons, namely leaf-off and leaf-on, were used to combine the Digital Elevation Models from different data acquisition platforms. This internship research work aims to create and experiment with new methods, techniques, and technologies for the applications of UAV photogrammetry and iPhone LiDAR in forest napping and inventory management. CHMs are also generated in this work which helps assess the conditions of the forests in the recreational areas, and the possibility of solutions like iPhone LiDAR and UAV photogrammetry would be highly efficient and economical. The leaf-off and leaf-on datasets were processed in Agisoft Metashape Professional software to generate dense point clouds for the forest plots. The point cloud from the leaf-on dataset was rasterized to generate a DSM whereas the leaf-off point cloud generated a DSM of the forest plots after ground filtering with Cloth Simulation Filter (CSF) plugin. The iPhone LiDAR point was also rasterized to a DTM product after pre-processing steps and noise removal. The Canopy Height Models (CHMs) were generated by subtracting UAV and iPhone LiDAR based DTMs from the UAV leaf on DSM. Finally, the accuracy assessment of CHMs from UAB datasets and their integration with iPhone LiDAR has been assessed using the accurate tree heights measured during the forest field visits. The proposed methodology can be used for forest mapping purposes where a moderate accuracy is requested.