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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Enhanced Algorithms for Estimating Tree Trunk Diameter Using 2D Laser Scanner

Ringdahl, Ola; Hohnloser, Peter; Hellström, Thomas; Holmgren, Johan; Lindroos, Ola


Accurate vehicle localization in forest environments is still an unresolved problem. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) have well known limitations in dense forest, and have to be combined with for instance laser based SLAM algorithms to provide satisfying accuracy. Such algorithms typically require accurate detection of trees, and estimation of tree center locations in laser data. Both these operations depend on accurate estimations of tree trunk diameter. Diameter estimations are important also for several other forestry automation and remote sensing applications. This paper evaluates several existing algorithms for diameter estimation using 2D laser scanner data. Enhanced algorithms, compensating for beam width and using multiple scans, were also developed and evaluated. The best existing algorithms overestimated tree trunk diameter by ca. 40%. Our enhanced algorithms, compensating for laser beam width, reduced this error to less than 12%.


beam width compensation; multiple laser scans; stem diameter; forestry; accuracy and quality; terrestrial laser scanning; mobile laser scanning

Published in

Remote Sensing
2013, Volume: 5, number: 10, pages: 4839-4856
Publisher: MDPI AG