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Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Tree Stem Diameter Estimation from Mobile Laser Scanning Using Line-Wise Intensity-Based Clustering

Forsman, Mona; Holmgren, Johan; Olofsson, Kenneth


Diameter at breast height has been estimated from mobile laser scanning using a new set of methods. A 2D laser scanner was mounted facing forward, tilted nine degrees downwards, on a car. The trajectory was recorded using inertial navigation and visual SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping). The laser scanner data, the trajectory and the orientation were used to calculate a 3D point cloud. Clusters representing trees were extracted line-wise to reduce the effects of uncertainty in the positioning system. The intensity of the laser echoes was used to filter out unreliable echoes only grazing a stem. The movement was used to obtain measurements from a larger part of the stem, and multiple lines from different views were used for the circle fit. Two trigonometric methods and two circle fit methods were tested. The best results with bias 2.3% (6 mm) and root mean squared error 14% (37 mm) were acquired with the circle fit on multiple 2D projected clusters. The method was evaluated compared to field data at five test areas with approximately 300 caliper-measured trees within a 10-m working range. The results show that this method is viable for stem measurements from a moving vehicle, for example a forest harvester.


mobile mapping; forest harvester; circle fit; stem diameter; 2D laser scanning; precision forestry; clustering

Published in

2016, Volume: 7, number: 9, article number: 206