SLA Canopy Height

SLA-01 Canopy Height Measurements

SLA-01 distribution of echoes from which an estimate of the effective tree canopy assemblage height (ECH) could be derived superimposed upon a shaded relief rendition of the topography of Africa. SLA-01 was able to measure the vertical distribution of roughness in vegetated regions such as Africa about 13% of the time, on the basis of the multi-gaussian echoes it recorded. The reason only about 13% (~ 29000) observations resulted in reasonable canopy height observations is a consequence of SLA's large footprint and strong signal levels, which resulted in saturated echoes over heavily vegetated terrain in many instances. However, the tens of thousands of measurements of an effective canopy height in places such as Africa is unique and extends the database on vegetation heights by several orders of magnitude. Histograms at the bottom of the figures illustrate the frequency distribution of tree heights versus the total vertical roughness of desert surfaces.

Responsible NASA official: David Harding
Web Curator: Jim Roark (SSAI)
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Last modified July 22, 1997