DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/32/S14.116

MEASURING TREE HEIGHTS USING A LOW-COST COMMERCIAL DRONE IN A BEECH AND DURMAST OAK STAND IN THE SOUTH-WEST HILLY AREA OF POIANA-RUSCĂ MOUNTAINS, ROMANIA

T.P. Banu, G. F. Borlea, C. Banu
Tuesday 12 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-05-8 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 32, 899-906 pp, DOI: DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/32/S14.116

ABSTRACT

The tree height, as the vertical distance between the base of the tree and the tip of the highest branch of the tree, represents a key element of forest inventories. In stands where the number of trees is high, the traditional in-situ methods can be time-consuming and can have difficulties in measuring accurately. In this study we present the potential of a low-cost commercial drone-based method of tree height measurement that could be implemented in the sustainable management of forests.
Aerial images were acquired in a beech and durmast oak stand in the South-West hilly area of Poiana-Ruscă Mountains with the use of a low-cost commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Based on these images an orthomosaic and a digital surface model (DSM) were assembled. A delineation of the tree crowns was made with the use of the orthomosaic in order to set the boundary of each tree. Further, the tree heights were calculated as the difference between the maximum elevation value found in the tree crown boundaries of the digital surface model and the closest terrain elevation of the tree crown. The current paper results were compared with the traditional tree-height measurements made in-situ. Further, the accuracy and the limitations of the current methodology were discussed.

Keywords: drone, UAV, tree height, remote sensing

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