- Technology Readiness Level: 3
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method to determine the location, structural characteristics, and health of each tree in a forest and easily access the information. Current methods to determine tree characteristics in a forest are based on manually sampling a subset of the trees and assuming the information is representative of the whole forest. The Purdue researchers’ method involves generating point clouds with stationary terrestrial scanners, mobile terrestrial scanners, UAV-mounted LiDAR units, and/or UAV imagery and uploading the information to an online forest management portal. The online portal uses the point clouds to determine the location, structural characteristics, and health of each tree in a forest. The online portal is user-friendly; users can easily view, query, upload, and manage the data analysis provided by the portal. With the information provided by the portal, forest management groups or lumber companies can accurately estimate stocking, timber fiber, biomass, and carbon sequestration levels of the trees in the forest of interest.
Technology Validation: In testing, the researchers’ data collection methods and analysis methods accurately determined tree location, structural information, and health in both managed and natural forests.
Name: Abhijit A Karve