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Appl Opt. 1997 Jun 20;36(18):4314-9.

Directional reflectance of vegetation measured by a calibrated digital camera.


Obtaining directional reflectance information for vegetation canopies is often an expensive and time-consuming process. We present here a simple approach based on the use of an inexpensive digital camera equipped with a wide-angle lens. By the imaging of a large homogeneous area, a single image captures multiple views of a vegetation canopy. This gives a directional reflectance distribution fully sampled for view direction and free of variations in Sun elevation and azimuth. We determined the radiometric response of the camera sensor CCD's at the focal point and then extended this calibration to the full CCD array by using averaged images of clear blue sky. We evaluated the utility of the system by obtaining directional reflectance distributions of two vegetation targets, grass (Lolium spp) and pine forest (Pinus radiata), for red visible light. The precision of the derived biangular pattern of reflectance was +/-7%.

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