Analysis of full-waveform LiDAR data for classification of an orange orchard scene

Karolina Fieber, Ian Davenport, J Ferryman, Robert Gurney, Jeffrey Walker, Jorg Hacker

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    55 Citations (Scopus)


    Full-waveform laser scanning data acquired with a Riegl LMS-Q560 instrument were used to classify an orange orchard into orange trees, grass and ground using waveform parameters alone. Gaussian decomposition was performed on this data capture from the National Airborne Field Experiment in November 2006 using a custom peak-detection procedure and a trust-region-reflective algorithm for fitting Gauss functions. Calibration was carried out using waveforms returned from a road surface, and the backscattering coefficient γ was derived for every waveform peak. The processed data were then analysed according to the number of returns detected within each waveform and classified into three classes based on pulse width and γ. For single-peak waveforms the scatterplot of γ versus pulse width was used to distinguish between ground, grass and orange trees. In the case of multiple returns, the relationship between first (or first plus middle) and last return γ values was used to separate ground from other targets. Refinement of this classification, and further sub-classification into grass and orange trees was performed using the γ versus pulse width scatterplots of last returns. In all cases the separation was carried out using a decision tree with empirical relationships between the waveform parameters. Ground points were successfully separated from orange tree points. The most difficult class to separate and verify was grass, but those points in general corresponded well with the grass areas identified in the aerial photography. The overall accuracy reached 91%, using photography and relative elevation as ground truth. The overall accuracy for two classes, orange tree and combined class of grass and ground, yielded 95%. Finally, the backscattering coefficient γ of single-peak waveforms was also used to derive reflectance values of the three classes. The reflectance of the orange tree class (0.31) and ground class (0.60) are consistent with published values at the wavelength of the Riegl scanner (1550. nm). The grass class reflectance (0.46) falls in between the other two classes as might be expected, as this class has a mixture of the contributions of both vegetation and ground reflectance properties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-82
    Number of pages20
    JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


    • Backscattering coefficient
    • Classification
    • Full-waveform
    • LiDAR
    • Reflectance
    • Vegetation


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