Zohreh Alijani


DOI bib
A comparison of three surface roughness characterization techniques: photogrammetry, pin profiler, and smartphone-based LiDAR
Zohreh Alijani, Julien Meloche, Alexander McLaren, John B. Lindsay, Alexandre Roy, Aaron Berg
International Journal of Digital Earth, Volume 15, Issue 1

Surface roughness plays an important role in microwave remote sensing. In the agricultural domain, surface roughness is crucial for soil moisture retrieval methods that use electromagnetic surface scattering or microwave radiative transfer models. Therefore, improved characterization of Soil Surface Roughness (SSR) is of considerable importance. In this study, three approaches, including a standard pin profiler, a LiDAR point cloud generated from an iPhone 12 Pro, and a Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetric point cloud, were applied over 24 surface profiles with different roughness variations to measure surface roughness. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capability of smartphone-based LiDAR technology to measure surface roughness parameters and compare the results of this technique with the more common approaches. Results showed that the iPhone LiDAR technology, when point cloud data is captured in a fine-resolution mode, has a significant correlation with SfM photogrammetry (R2 = 0.70) and a relatively close agreement with pin profiler (R2 = 0.60). However, this accuracy tends to be greater for random surfaces and rough profiles with row structure orientations. The results of this study confirm that smartphone-based LiDAR can be used as a cost-effective, fast, and time-efficient alternative tool for measuring surface roughness, especially for rough, wide, and inaccessible areas.


DOI bib
Sensitivity of C-Band SAR Polarimetric Variables to the Directionality of Surface Roughness Parameters
Zohreh Alijani, John B. Lindsay, Mélanie Chabot, Tracy Rowlandson, Aaron Berg
Remote Sensing, Volume 13, Issue 11

Surface roughness is an important factor in many soil moisture retrieval models. Therefore, any mischaracterization of surface roughness parameters (root mean square height, RMSH, and correlation length, ʅ) may result in unreliable predictions and soil moisture estimations. In many environments, but particularly in agricultural settings, surface roughness parameters may show different behaviours with respect to the orientation or azimuth. Consequently, the relationship between SAR polarimetric variables and surface roughness parameters may vary depending on measurement orientation. Generally, roughness obtained for many SAR-based studies is estimated using pin profilers that may, or may not, be collected with careful attention to orientation to the satellite look angle. In this study, we characterized surface roughness parameters in multi-azimuth mode using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS). We characterized the surface roughness parameters in different orientations and then examined the sensitivity between polarimetric variables and surface roughness parameters; further, we compared these results to roughness profiles obtained using traditional pin profilers. The results showed that the polarimetric variables were more sensitive to the surface roughness parameters at higher incidence angles (θ). Moreover, when surface roughness measurements were conducted at the look angle of RADARSAT-2, more significant correlations were observed between polarimetric variables and surface roughness parameters. Our results also indicated that TLS can represent more reliable results than pin profiler in the measurement of the surface roughness parameters.