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Proceedings Paper

Lidar flecks: modeling the influence of canopy type on tactical foliage penetration by airborne, active sensor platforms
Author(s): Richard Massaro; Julie Zinnert; John Anderson; Jarrod Edwards; Edward Crawford; Donald Young
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Paper Abstract

Our research focuses on the Army's need for improved detection and characterization of targets beneath the forest canopy. By investigating the integration of canopy characteristics with emerging remote data collection methods, foliage penetration-based target detection can be greatly improved. The objective of our research was to empirically model the effect of pulse return frequency (PRF) and flight heading/orientation on the success of foliage penetration (FOPEN) from LIDAR airborne sensors. By quantifying canopy structure and understory light we were able to improve our predictions of the best possible airborne observation parameters (required sensing modalities and geometries) for foliage penetration. Variations in canopy openness profoundly influenced light patterns at the forest floor. Sunfleck patterns (brief periods of direct light) are analogous to potential "LIDAR flecks" that reach the forest floor, creating a heterogeneous environment in the understory. This research expounds on knowledge of canopy-specific characteristics to influence flight geometries for prediction of the most efficient foliage penetrating orientation and heading of an airborne sensor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8360, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications IX, 836008 (3 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918519
Show Author Affiliations
Richard Massaro, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Julie Zinnert, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)
John Anderson, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)
Jarrod Edwards, U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)
Edward Crawford, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)
Donald Young, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8360:
Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications IX
Daniel J. Henry; Davis A. Lange; Dale Linne von Berg; Darrell L. Young; Kenneth L. Bernier; Jeff J. Guell; Sreekanth Danny Rajan, Editor(s)

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