Airborne LASER technology for measuring rangeland conditions

TitleAirborne LASER technology for measuring rangeland conditions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsRitchie J., Seyfried M.S., Chopping M., Pachepsky Y.
JournalJournal of Range Management
Date PublishedMarch 1, 2001
ARIS Log Number110274
AbstractLand surface and vegetation properties are key for understanding range conditions. Ground-based measurements of these properties are difficult and time consuming. Profiling and scanning airborne laser altimeter systems provide an alternative method to quickly and easily measure land surface and vegetation features and properties for large land areas. The agreement between airborne laser altimeter and field measurements is good for topographic features, vegetation properties (i.e., height, cover), and surface roughness. This paper presents examples of the applications of profiling and scanning airborne lasers as additional tools in the arsenal of remote sensing tools used to monitor rangeland conditions. Airborne laser measurements of plant canopy properties across the landscape and their effects on aerodynamic roughness allow better understanding of evaporative losses, infiltration, and surface water movement. Laser measurements improve our understanding of the effect of canopy and landscape roughness on rangelands conditions.