Thesis subject

MSc thesis topic: Added value of MLS for systematic forest inventories

The Dutch Forest Inventory is repeated every ~5 years, where for a large number of plots many forestry parameters are measured manually. The use of new measurement techniques, like Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS), may replace some of these measurement, or add interesting additional information to the inventory data.

So far LiDAR has not been competitive enough, due to the high costs and the time it takes to collect data and process those. With MLS systems the acquisition time is largely reduced, which may open possibilities for practical implementation within the Dutch Forest Inventory.

Within this thesis project we plan to collect forest inventory data and MLS data of a number of selected plots, investigate to which extent analysis can be automated and estimate the costs for implementation.


Evaluating the usability of MLS in Dutch forest inventories is relevant for the Nationale Bos Inventarisatie.


  • Review literature on Mobile LiDAR for forestry applications, with focus on forest inventories
  • Collect MLS data of selected plots
  • Evaluate to which extent the processing from MLS to forestry parameters can be automated and what the added value of MLS is.  


  • Scripting skills (e.g. R, Python, MatLab, LaTeX) are a preference
  • Basic knowledge of forestry
  • Completion GRS-32306 Advanced Earth Observation
  • For fieldwork it may be handy to have a Dutch drivers license

Theme(s): Sensing & measuring