IDENTIFICATION OF PEACH TREE TRUNKS FROM LASER SCANNING DATA OBTAINED WITH SMALL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM
Keywords: UAS, LiDAR, agriculture, orchard, trunk detection
Abstract. Agricultural robotics rely on digital tools and sensor integration in order to improve efficiency and sustainability of cultivations. One part of orchard inventory is the identification of a tree trunk i.e. localization and diameter determination. However, this is a challenging task, due to thin trunks, presence of leaves and low branches. In this paper we present a case study for determining these parameters using the example of peach orchard, for which a high-density LiDAR data (over 3000 points/m2) was obtained with a small unmanned aerial system (UAS) during a leafy and leafless season. We applied point thresholding by height and by components of normal vector, in order to identify points reflected from trunks. Alpha-shape algorithm was used to aggregate together points, that belong to the same trunk and their centroid determined the trunk location. Trunk diameters were calculated using two alternative approaches: the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and circle fit. For the leafy season trunk identification is challenging. Omission errors were caused due to few reflections from trunks and commission errors occurred because of the unfiltered reflections from low branches and young twigs oriented towards the ground. All 194 trunks were identified from data collected during the leafless season. The accuracy of tree location was 0.27 m and the accuracy of diameter determination using PCA was 0.03 m.