Investigating the utility of wavelet transforms for inverting a 3-D radiative transfer model using hyperspectral data to retrieve forest LAI

Asim Banskota, Randolph H. Wynne, Valerie A. Thomas, Shawn P. Serbin, Nilam Kayastha, Jean P. Gastellu-Etchegorry, Philip A. Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The need for an efficient and standard technique for optimal spectral sampling of hyperspectral data during the inversion of canopy reflectance models has been the subject of many studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the utility of the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) for extracting useful features from hyperspectral data with which forest LAI can be estimated through inversion of a three dimensional radiative transfer model, the Discrete Anisotropy Radiative Transfer (DART) model. DART, coupled with the leaf optical properties model PROSPECT, was inverted with AVIRIS data using a look-up-table (LUT)-based inversion approach. We used AVIRIS data and in situ LAI measurements from two different hardwood forested sites in Wisconsin, USA. Prior to inversion, model-simulated and AVIRIS hyperspectral data were transformed into discrete wavelet coefficients using Haar wavelets. The LUT inversion was performed with three different datasets, the original reflectance bands, the full set of wavelet extracted features, and two wavelet subsets containing 99.99% and 99.0% of the cumulative energy of the original signal. The energy subset containing 99.99% of the cumulative signal energy provided better estimates of LAI (RMSE = 0.46, R2 = 0.77) than the original spectral bands (RMSE = 0.60, R2 = 0.47). The results indicate that the discrete wavelet transform can increase the accuracy of LAI estimates by improving the LUT-based inversion of DART (and, potentially, by implication, other terrestrial radiative transfer models) using hyperspectral data. The improvement in accuracy of LAI estimates is potentially due to different properties of wavelet analysis such as multi-scale representation, dimensionality reduction, and noise removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2639-2659
Number of pages21
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • DART
  • Discrete wavelet transform
  • Hyperspectral
  • Imaging spectrometer
  • Inversion
  • LUT
  • Leaf area index
  • Radiative transfer


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