Ground based Lidar







CSIRO’s Canopy Lidar Initiative (CLI) has developed an innovative ground based Lidar system that scans a full hemisphere from a point on the canopy floor, providing output variables related to stem and foliage densities that may be used for ecological assessment, wood volume estimates and in forest growth models The instrument, known as ECHIDNA™, can also be used to calibrate Lidar data collected by airborne instruments or conversely airborne instruments can be used to scale up the more detailed forest variables retrieved using the ECHIDNA™.




HHemispherical projection of waveform totals collected by ECHIDNA™


ECHIDNA™ records a full waveform of returns for each point on the hemisphere making it a truly three dimensional record of the forest. The data can also be reprojected into a number of formats to expose various aspects of the forest structure.



Cylindrical reprojection of the ECHIDNA™ data showing the separation of trunks and foliage


The three dimensionality of the ECHIDNA™ data allows profiles of certain variables to be measured such as the height dependence of foliage density (shown below) and horizontal stem density variations.


Mean waveforms for different beam zenith angles collected by the ECHIDNA™ instrument


The near horizontal scans made by the ECHIDNA™ can be used to gather information relating to the number density and mean diameter of individual stems.


Spatial distribution of return points for two ECHIDNA horizontal scans


The ECHIDNA™ instrument is currently a research prototype, being used as a proof of concept tool and for validation of algorithms and the development of next generation instrument specifications. The next stage in the ECHIDNA™ development will be the production of a commercial prototype that is designed for field use by forestry workers for rapid and repeatable point measurement of forest structure.



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