Using Logging Residues as Biofuel Feedstocks in the Pacific Northwest: Estimating Slash Pile Volumes with Low-cost, Lightweight Terrestrial LiDAR Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Natural Resources) -- University of Idaho, 2015 | With logging residues gaining momentum as potential biofuel feedstocks in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), refined methods of measuring piled slash are needed to inform the appropriate supply chain infrastructure that can ultimately make the slash-to-biofuels process economically feasible. This study presents the design of a rudimentary, low-cost (~$450), lightweight (5.6kg) terrestrial laser scanner (TLS). Its viability as an option for estimating the volumes of slash piles is then explored by comparing it to two traditional slash pile estimators on a random sample of thirty slash piles. The inexpensive, field-mobile, and user friendly TLS (in comparison with traditional terrestrial laser scanners) was found to be more accurate than traditional ground measurements for estimating the volumes of small and irregularly shaped slash piles. Point clouds generated from TLS data are used to create 3D models of objects, which can be useful in a wide scope of terrestrial remote sensing applications.

publication date

  • June 1, 2015