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TERN Landscape Assessment worked together with Airborne Research Australia (ARA) to deliver airborne hyperspectral and lidar data for a number of selected homogenous 5 km x 5 km field sites across several locations in Australia (formally known as the AusCover Supersites). A Riegl Q560 Lidar, a SPECIM AisaEAGLE II hyperspectral scanner (VNIR) and a SPECIM AisaHAWK hyper-spectral scanner were mounted in underwing pods of ARA's ECO-Dimona research aircraft VH-EOS, each one together with its own navigation and attitude system.

Airborne Hyperspectral and LiDAR metadata

Biomass Plot Library

The Biomass Plot Library is a collation of stem inventory data across federal, state and local government departments, universities, private companies and other agencies. It was motivated to the need for calibration/validation data to underpin national mapping of above-ground biomass from integration of Landsat time-series, ICESat/GLAS lidar, and ALOS PALSAR bacscatter backscatter data under the auspices of the JAXA Kyoto & Carbon (K&C) Initiative (Armston et al., 2016). The data has been translated to a common set of tree, plot and site level observations with explicit plot footprints where available.


Scans have been collected in Australia using two Riegl VZ400 waveform recording TLS instruments. One is co-owned and operated by the Remote Sensing Centre, Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) and the TERN Auscover AusCover Brisbane Node, University of Queensland. The second is owned and operated by Wageningen University, Netherlands. The field protocols are designed with these instruments in mind, however can be adapted to other TLS instruments.


Field spectroradiometer measurements are collected to relate field based measurements to satellite data products (e.g. Landsat and MODIS NBAR products). For calibration and validation of at-surface reflectance of airborne hyper-spectral image data. Once the at-surface reflectance values of the hyper-spectral image data have been validated, the data can be used for up-scaling to medium spatial resolution Landsat and MODIS data for cal/val of NBAR products.

Hyperspectral Ground Calibration metadata

ASD Field Protocol - Ground Features


Leaf Area Index has been collected at the TERN Landscapes Supersites around Australia, using the LAI2200 and CI-110 insturmentsinstruments.

LAI 2200 Plant Canopy Analyzer


High temporal frequency satellite observations of landscapes are necessary to capture highly dynamic spatio-temporal patterns of vegetation growth and productivity and landscape processes of carbon and water fluxes.  Satellite observations of landscape seasonality include co-varying phenological changes in vegetation foliage quantity, phenological variations in foliage quality (leaf age, pigment contents, nitrogen, leaf stress...), and external variations in clouds, aerosols, and sun-view angle geometries.  Satellite phenology observations of Australian landscapes are additionally complex due to the extensive prevalence of tree-shrub-grass canopies in which each vegetation functional class exhibit unique phenologiesphonologies.  For example, the productivity of the tree layer may increase simultaneous with decreases in grass layer productivity, potentially resulting in a mis-diagnosed satellite phenology.  Validating satellite phenology is necessary for proper interpretation of climate variability and consequent shifts in seasonal and interannual biome responses.