WATCHING GRASS GROW- A PILOT STUDY ON THE SUITABILITY OF PHOTOGRAMMETRIC TECHNIQUES FOR QUANTIFYING CHANGE IN ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS IN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENTS
Grassland ecology experiments in remote locations requiring quantitative analysis of the biomass in defined plots are becoming increasingly widespread, but are still limited by manual sampling methodologies. To provide a cost-effective automated solution for biomass determination, several photogrammetric techniques are examined to generate 3D point cloud representations of plots as a basis, to estimate aboveground biomass on grassland plots, which is a key ecosystem variable used in many experiments. Methods investigated include Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques for camera pose estimation with posterior dense matching as well as the usage of a Time of Flight (TOF) 3D camera, a laser light sheet triangulation system and a coded light projection system. In this context, plants of small scales (herbage) and medium scales are observed. In the first pilot study presented here, the best results are obtained by applying dense matching after SfM, ideal for integration into distributed experiment networks.