DEVELOPING A 3D WAVEFORM LIDAR SIMULATOR FOR FOREST
Keywords: Simulation, 3D full polygons, Echo signal, TEM00, Visualization
Abstract. Waveform LiDAR systems is widely used in several fields such as terrain survey, disaster monitoring and forest monitoring. Especially, in forest research, using an echo signal is expected for understanding structural characteristics of the forest. However, an echo signal highly depends on the sensor configuration, the footprint size, the canopy structure, and terrain condition. Therefore, it is not easy to understand the forest attributes from the echo signal. In this paper, we describe the development and application of model which to simulate laser intersections within ideal forest environments and to visualize intersections. The developed model has three components. The first component was a creation of the forest environment as full polygon in 3DCG software. Characteristics of the forest was decided by individual trees which were generated by the plant growth model using species and planting years as the initial parameter. The second component was a simulation using a ray tracing to calculate intersections between the forest object and the modelled laser beam. In this study, a laser beam with a specific footprint and a pulse width was defined by spatiotemporal features. In point of view of spatial feature, numerous sub laser beams were generated within a specific footprint to make the laser beam hit the target uniformly. Each sub laser beam had the intensity which was calculated by both the distance from the center of laser beam and the TEM00. On the other hand, in point of view of time feature, each sub laser beam was defined as several particles based on the sampling rate. Each particle had the intensity which was calculated by the pulse width and the sampling rate. The third component was a creation of an echo signal of a specific footprint using the calculated intersections and its intensity, reflectance of target at intersections and sampling rate. Moreover, the developed model had a view function that was able to show the calculated intersections on the surface of target object. As results of simulation of ideal forest environment scenarios, the developed model demonstrated that the model generated the echo signal of different environments well and the viewer function helped to understand the interactions between sub laser beams and target objects.