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From Ground Sensors to Satellites: Three-Dimensional Remote Sensing of Vegetation Structure

March 30, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Dr. Sorin Popescu
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University



Lasers have been one of the greatest scientific developments of the twentieth century. After more than five decades of laser achievements, lasers are still a symbol of high technology and they push the remote sensing field to new “heights.” Laser ranging systems are commonly referred to as lidar systems (Light Detection And Ranging). LiDAR remote sensing extends the two-dimensional optical sensing of the Earth by providing direct information on the three-dimensional structure of targets. 3-D information can also be obtained through photogrammetric methods with optical imagery. This seminar will review liDAR remote sensing from all three platforms – ground, air, and space, and will focus on applications for assessing vegetation biophysical parameters and three-dimensional structure. A case study of assessing agricultural crop heights with UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and its comparison to terrestrial lidar scans will be presented as well. The presentation will also include a real-time data collection with a scanning lidar sensor designed for UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) applications.


Dr. Sorin Popescu is a Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management (ESSM) at TAMU. His area of research and teaching is in remote sensing of the environment, with a specialty in laser or LiDAR remote sensing of vegetation structure, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), sensors and algorithmic methodologies to derive vegetation biophysical parameters, including biomass, carbon, three-dimensional structure, and forest fuels and fire risk. Since he started at TAMU in 2003, Dr. Popescu has received research funding from NASA, NSF, USDA Forest Service and other federal and state agencies. He currently serves as Principal Investigator on a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Definition Team for a future satellite mission, the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat 2), with launch date in 2018. Dr. Popescu teaches a senior-level undergraduate course in remote sensing of the environment and two graduate courses, remote sensing of environment and advanced remote sensing. Throughout his tenure at TAMU, he has chaired to completion a total of 12 graduate students, including four doctoral students. He currently advises 3 doctoral students and one MS student. For information on current projects, visit Dr. Popescu’s LASERS lab page: http://aglifesciences.tamu.edu/lasers/


Dr. Michael Bishop: michael.bishop@tamu.edu


March 30, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Eller O&M Bldg., Room 807