Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
Remote sensing using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) -borne sensors is currently a highly interesting approach for the estimation of forest characteristics. 3D remote sensing data from airborne laser scanning or digital stereo photogrammetry enable highly accurate estimation of forest variables related to the volume of growing stock and dimension of the trees, whereas recognition of tree species dominance and proportion of different tree species has been a major complication in remote sensing-based estimation of stand variables. In this study the use of UAV-borne hyperspectral imagery was examined in combination with a high-resolution photogrammetric canopy height model in estimating forest variables of 298 sample plots. Data were captured from eleven separate test sites under weather conditions varying from sunny to cloudy and partially cloudy. Both calibrated hyperspectral reflectance images and uncalibrated imagery were tested in combination with a canopy height model based on RGB camera imagery using the k-nearest neighbour estimation method. The results indicate that this data combination allows accurate estimation of stand volume, mean height and diameter: the best relative RMSE values for those variables were 22.7%, 7.4% and 14.7%, respectively. In estimating volume and dimension-related variables, the use of a calibrated image mosaic did not bring significant improvement in the results. In estimating the volumes of individual tree species, the use of calibrated hyperspectral imagery generally brought marked improvement in the estimation accuracy; the best relative RMSE values for the volumes for pine, spruce, larch and broadleaved trees were 34.5%, 57.2%, 45.7% and 42.0%, respectively.
A method was developed for relative radiometric calibration of single multitemporal Landsat TM image, several multitemporal images covering each other, and several multitemporal images covering different geographical locations. The radiometrically calibrated different images were used for detecting rapid changes on forest stands. The nonparametric Kernel method was applied for change detection. The accuracy of the change detection was estimated by inspecting the image analysis results in field.
The change classification was applied for controlling the quality of the continuously updated forest stand information. The aim was to ensure that all the manmade changes and any forest damages were correctly updated including the attribute and stand delineation information. The image analysis results were compared with the registered treatments and the stand information base. The stands with discrepancies between these two information sources were recommended to be field inspected.