The properties of terrestrial laser system intensity for measuring leaf geometries: a case study with Conference Pear trees (Pyrus communis)

Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(2):1657-81. doi: 10.3390/s110201657. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology can be a valuable tool for describing and quantifying vegetation structure. However, because of their size, extraction of leaf geometries remains complicated. In this study, the intensity data produced by the Terrestrial Laser System (TLS) FARO LS880 is corrected for the distance effect and its relationship with the angle of incidence between the laser beam and the surface of the leaf of a Conference Pear tree (Pyrus commmunis) is established. The results demonstrate that with only intensity, this relationship has a potential for determining the angle of incidence with the leaves surface with a precision of ±5° for an angle of incidence smaller than 60°, whereas it is more variable for an angle of incidence larger than 60°. It appears that TLS beam footprint, leaf curvatures and leaf wrinkles have an impact on the relationship between intensity and angle of incidence, though, this analysis shows that the intensity of scanned leaves has a potential to eliminate ghost points and to improve their meshing.

Keywords: Ghost point; TLS; conference pear tree; intensity return; leaf geometries; leaf inclination; mesh.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Lasers*
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Light
  • Plant Leaves / anatomy & histology*
  • Plant Leaves / radiation effects
  • Pyrus / anatomy & histology*
  • Pyrus / radiation effects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Trees / anatomy & histology*
  • Trees / radiation effects