Developing accurate methods for estimating forest structures is essential for efficient forest management. The high spatial and temporal resolution data acquired by CubeSat satellites have desirable characteristics for mapping large-scale forest structural attributes. However, most studies have used a median composite or single image for analyses. The multi-temporal use of CubeSat data may improve prediction accuracy. This study evaluates the capabilities of PlanetScope CubeSat data to estimate canopy height derived from airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) by comparing estimates using Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 data. Random forest (RF) models using a single composite, multi-seasonal composites, and time-series data were investigated at different spatial resolutions of 3, 10, 20, and 30 m. The highest prediction accuracy was obtained by the PlanetScope multi-seasonal composites at 3 m (relative root mean squared error: 51.3%) and Sentinel-2 multi-seasonal composites at the other spatial resolutions (40.5%, 35.2%, and 34.2% for 10, 20, and 30 m, respectively). The results show that RF models using multi-seasonal composites are 1.4% more accurate than those using harmonic metrics from time-series data in the median. PlanetScope is recommended for canopy height mapping at finer spatial resolutions. However, the unique characteristics of PlanetScope data in a spatial and temporal context should be further investigated for operational forest monitoring.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)