Evaluating and mitigating the impact of systematic geolocation error on canopy height measurement performance of GEDI

Remote Sensing of Environment
By: , and 



NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is designed to provide high-resolution measurements of forest structure and topography between 52° N and S. However, current geolocation accuracy may limit further science applications of footprint-level products as early adopters have found it difficult to align with in-situ forestry inventory data and high-resolution imagery for calibration and validation purpose. Here we developed a new means to rapidly evaluate and mitigate the impact of systematic geolocation error on the performance of GEDI's forest height estimates in the US. By integrating nationwide high-resolution airborne lidar data collected through the 3D Elevation Program of the USGS, we provided optimal geolocation adjustments of GEDI at per beam level and tracked their performances over the first 18-mo. Our results suggest that the first release of GEDI product (R01) can have large systematic geolocation errors at beam level (i.e., 50.5% of beams with an error > 20 m). Its impact on canopy height measurement could drastically vary in space and time, which in turn also offers a separate indirect method to evaluate and track geolocation performance. The second release of GEDI data (R02) has achieved a much-improved systematic geolocation accuracy which is shown to meet the mission requirement (0.2% beams >20 m and 80.8% beams <10 m) and should be able to meet requirements from many practical science applications tolerant to moderate geolocation errors. In sum, our approach has provided a short-term solution for an enhanced Cal/Val strategy for GEDI. While further improvements will certainly be made in future releases, it can potentially create an alternative pathway to generate and validate biomass products by linking GEDI footprint samples directly with in-situ data collections.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluating and mitigating the impact of systematic geolocation error on canopy height measurement performance of GEDI
Series title Remote Sensing of Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.rse.2023.113571
Volume 291
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) National Geospatial Program
Description 113571, 13 p.
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details