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LC-17 Abstract

Large Area Lidar Remote Sensing for the Estimation of Above-Ground Biomass and Generation of "Bare Earth" Topography in Amazonia

James Bryan Blair — NASA/GSFC (US-PI)
Bruce Nelson — INPA - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas na Amazonia (SA-PI)
Joao Roberto dos Santos — INPE - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (SA-PI)
Dalton De Morisson Valeriano — INPE - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (SA-PI)

Lidar measurements of

vegetated land surfaces provide unprecedented views of the vertical and

horizontal structure of the canopy and the topography beneath.  By utilizing medium to large diameter laser footprints and

recording the entire time history of interaction between a short pulse of laser

light and the surface of the Earth, we can directly measure the vertical

structure of vegetation including canopy height, a profile of vegetation

material down through the canopy, and sub-canopy topography, as well as estimate

important biophysical parameters such as above-ground biomass. For this effort

we propose to utilize an existing research-level airborne remote sensing laser

altimeter (the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor - LVIS), enhance its associated

processing software, and collect data over areas totaling 15,000 km2 (assuming a

2 km LVIS swath and cloud-free conditions). We will produce direct measurements

of vegetation height and topography, as well as produce estimates of

above-ground biomass for the mapped regions.  As well as providing canopy

and ground information to LBA investigators, these data act as a link between

small area ground sites and large area mapping by satellite sensors.  Work

included in this proposal is as follows: enhance data processing system to

automatically produce validated, high-quality laser altimeter data sets, ready

the LVIS instrument for deployment to Amazonia, collect 5,000 km2 of  LVIS

data over three LBA study areas (Santarem, Manaus and Rondonia) and an

additional 10,000 km2 along the two LBA transacts, produce validated data

products of vegetation height and topography, and collaborate with other

investigators to estimate above-ground biomass for the laser mapped region.

Further, we will compare LVIS and SRTM data products to assess the errors in the

SRTM DEM and to validate the utility of calibrating the SRTM data to potentially

produce "bare earth" topography and vegetation height estimates in

areas not coincidently sampled with SAR and lidar. A subset of the processed

lidar data (canopy height, topography and various parameters describing the

waveform), gridded maps of canopy height and topography, and "bare

earth" SRTM product will be publicly distributed as part of the LBA-DIS.

Recorded lidar waveform data for selected investigator sites only will be

available through the LBA-DIS. This is because of the large amount of data

storage required to keep this data on-line. It is expected that the full lidar

data record (that is the topography, canopy height and waveform data on a shot

by shot basis) will be distributed through the Eros Data Center (EDC) as part of

the VCL data distribution.

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