Capabilities and performance of dual-wavelength Echidna® lidar

Glenn A. Howe, Kuravi Hewawasam, Ewan S. Douglas, Jason Martel, Zhan Li, Alan Strahler, Crystal Schaaf, Timothy A. Cook, Supriya Chakrabarti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We describe the capabilities and performance of a terrestrial laser scanning instrument built for the purpose of recording and retrieving the three-dimensional structure of forest vegetation. The dual-wavelength Echidna® lidar characterizes the forest structure at an angular resolution as fine as 1 mrad while distinguishing between leaves and trunks by exploiting their differential reflectances at two wavelengths: 1 and 1.5 μm. The instrument records the full waveforms of return signals from 5 ns laser pulses at half-nanosecond time resolution; obtains ±117 deg zenith and 360 deg azimuth coverage out to a radius of more than 70 m; provides single-target range resolution of 4.8 and 2.3 cm for the 1 and 1.5 μm channels, respectively (1σ); and separates adjacent pulse returns in the same waveform at a distance of 52.0 and 63.8 cm apart for the 1 and 1.5 μm channels, respectively. The angular resolution is in part controlled by user-selectable divergence optics and is shown to be <2 mrad for the instrument's standard resolution mode, while the signal-to-noise ratio is 10 at 70 m range for targets with leaf-like reflectance for both channels. The portability and target differentiation make the instrument an ideal ground-based lidar suited for vegetation sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095979
JournalJournal of Applied Remote Sensing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • dual-wavelength laser scanner
  • forest structure measurement
  • lidar
  • terrestrial laser scanner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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