Evaluation of terrestrial laser scanning for rice growth monitoring

N. Tilly, D. Hoffmeister, H. Liang, Q. Cao, Y. Liu, V. Lenz-Wiedemann, Y. Miao, G. Bareth

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The rapidly growing world population and the resulting pressure on the efficiency of agriculture require a sustainable development of intensive field management with regard to natural resources. In this context, the use of non-destructive remote sensing technologies to monitor status and change detection of plant growth is in the focus of research and application. In this contribution, we evaluate the applicability of multitemporal terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for rice growth monitoring. The test sites are located around Jiansanjiang in Heilongjiang Province in the far northeast of China. The focus of the field experiment was on different nitrogen fertilizer inputs during the growing period in 2011. To realize the monitoring approach, three campaigns were carried out during the vegetative stage of rice plants. For all campaigns the terrestrial laser scanner Riegl VZ-1000 was used. The achieved knowledge can be described in two parts. First, for each date the variability of plant height and biomass is detectable for the whole experiment field and - more important - between the plots. Furthermore, differences in height and biomass related to edge effects can be investigated for every single plot. The spatial distribution is visualized by Crop Surface Models (CSM), which are digital surface models with a high resolution and accuracy achieved by the interpolation of the 3D point clouds. Secondly, the multitemporal surveying approach enables the monitoring of the growth rate of the rice plants. Additionally, it is possible to detect and analyze as well the spatial distribution of the changes by comparing the CSMs. Our results show that TLS is a suitable and promising method for rice growth monitoring. Furthermore, the contemporaneous surveying with other sensors enables us to validate our measurements and bares opportunities for further enhancements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences - ISPRS Archives
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event22nd Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, ISPRS 2012 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Aug 25 2012Sep 1 2012


  • Agriculture
  • Change Detection
  • Crop
  • Monitoring
  • Multitemporal
  • TLS


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