New Hybrid Algorithms for Estimating Tree Stem Diameters at Breast Height Using a Two Dimensional Terrestrial Laser Scanner

Sensors (Basel). 2015 Jul 2;15(7):15661-83. doi: 10.3390/s150715661.

Abstract

In this paper, a new algorithm to improve the accuracy of estimating diameter at breast height (DBH) for tree trunks in forest areas is proposed. First, the information is collected by a two-dimensional terrestrial laser scanner (2DTLS), which emits laser pulses to generate a point cloud. After extraction and filtration, the laser point clusters of the trunks are obtained, which are optimized by an arithmetic means method. Then, an algebraic circle fitting algorithm in polar form is non-linearly optimized by the Levenberg-Marquardt method to form a new hybrid algorithm, which is used to acquire the diameters and positions of the trees. Compared with previous works, this proposed method improves the accuracy of diameter estimation of trees significantly and effectively reduces the calculation time. Moreover, the experimental results indicate that this method is stable and suitable for the most challenging conditions, which has practical significance in improving the operating efficiency of forest harvester and reducing the risk of causing accidents.

Keywords: diameter at breast height estimation; hybrid circle fit algorithms; two-dimensional terrestrial laser scanner.