OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 43, Iss. 11 — Apr. 10, 2004
  • pp: 2360–2368

Design and performance of a multiwavelength airborne polarimetric lidar for vegetation remote sensing

Songxin Tan and Ram M. Narayanan  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 43, Issue 11, pp. 2360-2368 (2004)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (846 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The University of Nebraska has developed a multiwavelength airborne polarimetric lidar (MAPL) system to support its Airborne Remote Sensing Program for vegetation remote sensing. The MAPL design and instrumentation are described in detail. Characteristics of the MAPL system include lidar waveform capture and polarimetric measurement capabilities, which provide enhanced opportunities for vegetation remote sensing compared with current sensors. Field tests were conducted to calibrate the range measurement. Polarimetric calibration of the system is also discussed. Backscattered polarimetric returns, as well as the cross-polarization ratios, were obtained from a small forested area to validate the system’s ability for vegetation canopy detection. The system has been packaged to fly abroad a Piper Saratoga aircraft for airborne vegetation remote sensing applications.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.0280) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Remote sensing and sensors
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(280.3420) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser sensors
(280.3640) Remote sensing and sensors : Lidar

Original Manuscript: March 4, 2003
Revised Manuscript: November 11, 2003
Published: April 10, 2004

Songxin Tan and Ram M. Narayanan, "Design and performance of a multiwavelength airborne polarimetric lidar for vegetation remote sensing," Appl. Opt. 43, 2360-2368 (2004)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. O. Dubayah, J. B. Drake, “Lidar remote sensing of forestry,” J. Forest. 98, 44–46 (2000).
  2. M. L. Imhoff, “Radar backscatter and biomass saturation: ramification and global biomass inventory,” IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 33, 511–518 (1995). [CrossRef]
  3. J. B. Drake, R. O. Dubayah, D. B. Clark, R. G. Knox, J. B. Blair, M. A. Hofton, R. L. Chazdon, J. F. Weishampel, S. D. Prince, “Estimation of tropical forest structure characteristics using large-footprint lidar,” Remote Sens. Environ. 79, 305–319 (2002). [CrossRef]
  4. M. A. Lefsky, D. Harding, W. B. Cohen, G. Parker, H. H. Shugart, “Surface lidar remote sensing of basal area and biomass in deciduous forest of eastern Maryland, USA,” Remote Sens. Environ. 67, 83–98 (1999). [CrossRef]
  5. K. C. Slatton, M. M. Crawford, B. L. Evans, “Fusing interferometric radar and laser altimeter data to estimate surface topography and vegetation heights,” IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 39, 2470–2482 (2001). [CrossRef]
  6. D. J. Harding, J. B. Blair, D. L. Rabine, K. L. Still, “SLICER airborne laser altimeter characterization of canopy structure and subcanopy topography for the BOREAS northern and southern study regions: instrument and data product description,” NASA Tech. Memo. NASA/TM-2000-209891 (NASA, Washington, D.C., 2000).
  7. R. O. Dubayah, J. B. Blair, J. L. Bufton, D. B. Clark, J. JaJa, R. G. Knox, S. B. Luthcke, S. Prince, J. F. Weishampel, “The Vegetation Canopy Lidar mission,” in Land Satellite Information in the Next Decade: II. Sources and Applications (American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Bethesda, Md., 1997), pp. 100–112.
  8. J. E. Kalshoven, P. W. Dabney, “Remote sensing of the earth’s surface with an airborne polarized laser,” IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 31, 438–446 (1993). [CrossRef]
  9. J. E. Kalshoven, M. R. Tierney, C. S. Daughtry, J. E. McMurtrey, “Remote sensing of crop parameters with a polarized, frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser,” Appl. Opt. 34, 2745–2749 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. S. Tan, R. M. Narayanan, “A multiwavelength airborne polarimetric lidar for vegetation remote sensing: instrumentation and preliminary test results,” in IEEE 2002 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, New York, 2002), Vol. 5, pp. 2675–2677.
  11. S. Tan, R. M. Narayanan, J. E. Kalshoven, “Measurement of Stokes parameters of materials at 1064-nm and 532-nm wavelengths,” in Laser Radar Technology and Applications VI, G. W. Kamerman, ed., Proc. SPIE4377, 263–271 (2001). [CrossRef]
  12. W. Budde, “Physical detectors of optical radiation,” in Optical Radiation Measurements, F. Grum, C. J. Bartleson, eds. (Academic, New York, 1983), Vol. 4.
  13. G. W. Kamerman, “Laser radar,” in Infrared and Electro-Optical Systems Handbook, Vol. 6 of Active Electro-Optical Systems, C. Fox, ed. (SPIE, Bellingham, Wash., 1993), pp. 1–76.
  14. A. V. Jelalian, Laser Radar Systems (Artech House, Boston, Mass., 1991).
  15. B. M. Oliver, “Thermal and quantum noise,” Proc. IEEE 53, 436–454 (1965). [CrossRef]
  16. R. M. Measures, Laser Remote Sensing: Fundamentals and Applications (Krieger, Malabar, Fla., 1992).
  17. A. Mecherikunnel, C. H. Duncan, “Total and spectral solar irradiance measured at ground surface,” Appl. Opt. 21, 554–556 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. J. W. Goodman, “Some effects of target-induced scintillation on optical radar performance,” Proc. IEEE 53, 1688–1700 (1965). [CrossRef]
  19. J. W. Goodman, “Statistical properties of laser speckle pattern,” in Laser Speckle and Related Phenomena, 2nd ed., J. C. Dainty, ed. (Springer, New York, 1984), pp. 9–75.
  20. C. S. Gardner, “Target signatures for laser altimeters: an analysis,” Appl. Opt. 21, 448–453 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. B. R. Foy, B. D. McVey, R. R. Petrin, J. J. Tiee, C. W. Wilson, “Remote mapping of vegetation and geological features by lidar in the 9–11-μm region,” Appl. Opt. 40, 4344–4352 (2001). [CrossRef]
  22. M. J. Kavaya, “Polarization effects on hard target calibration of lidar systems,” Appl. Opt. 26, 796–804 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. C. K. Wang, W. D. Philpot, “Using SHOALS lidar system to detect bottom material change,” in IEEE 2002 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, New York, 2002), Vol. 5, pp. 2690–2692.
  24. Q. Ma, A. Ishimaru, P. Phu, Y. Kuga, “Transmission, reflection, and depolarization of an optical wave for a single leaf,” IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. 28, 865–872 (1990). [CrossRef]
  25. P. N. Raven, D. L. Jordan, C. E. Smith, “Polarized direction reflectance from laurel and mullein leaves,” Opt. Eng. 41, 1002–1012 (2002). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited