An airborne LiDAR-derived point cloud of the forest can be used to estimate the characteristics of the forest, such as the average height of trees, the density of the canopy, crown diameter, amount of biomass, the stand volume, forest edges, slope orientation and inclination. LiDAR is unique in its ability to measure the vertical structure of forest canopies and individual tree crowns. Accurate information on the terrain, tree heights and densities are critical to tree managers, foresters and natural resource managers.
When additional sensors for producing supportive data (for example true-color or infrared images) are used, even more information can be determined for individual trees such as crown diameter, and species.
AeroPhoto’s derived data and services (land use/land cover, vegetation mapping, corridor identification, zonal mapping etc.) can be used for analysis, preservation, planning, monitoring the forest growth, damage caused by storms or fires, harvesting of trees, estimating root expanse, identifying habitat corridor gaps, and for estimating the financial value of the trees when harvested. Specific information supports the management of the forest in a way that improves the wood quality reducing waste, and maintains the quality of the environment.
Information about canopy bulk density, canopy base height and biomass of a forest can be used in fire behavior models, for the estimation of forest fire spreading and thus, support evacuation tasks. Complete compatibility with GIS opens unlimited opportunities of further analysis.