Development of an in-field tree imaging system : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology at Massey University

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Massey University
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Quality inventory information is essential for optimal resource utilisation in the forestry industry. In-field tree imaging is a method which has been proposed to improve the preharvest inventor assessment of standing trees. It involves the application of digital imaging technology to this task. The method described generates a three dimensional model of each tree through the capture of two orthogonal images from ground level. The images are captured and analysed using the "TreeScan" in-field tree imaging system. This thesis describes the design, development, and evaluation of the TreeScan system. The thesis can also be used as a technical reference for the system and as such contains appropriate technical and design detail. The TreeScan system consists of a portable computer, a custom designed high resolution scanner with integral microcontroller, a calibration rod, and custom designed processing software. Images of trees are captured using the scanner which contains a CCD line scan camera and a precision scanning mechanism. Captured images are analysed on the portable computer using customised image processing software to estimate real world tree dimensions and shape. The TreeScan system provides quantitative estimates of five tree parameters; height, sweep, stem diameter, branch diameter, and feature separation such as internodal distance. In addition to these estimates a three dimensional model is generated which can be further processed to determine the optimal stem breakdown into logs.
Forest management, Trees -- Measurement, Instruments, Imaging systems