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A Simple Automated Laser Profile Meter
- Polyakov, V., Nearing, M.
- Soil Science Society of America journal 2019 v.83 no.2 pp. 327-331
- automation, lidar, lighting, portable equipment, roughness, soil
- An automated profile meter with vertical precision of ±0.2 mm was built to measure soil surface elevations. It consists of a laser distance meter mounted on an automated linear motion system. Operation and data logging is conducted wirelessly using a Bluetooth enabled mobile device. The profile meter performed well under various lighting conditions and on a variety of natural materials, with the exception of specular surfaces. It is inexpensive (<$1500), consists of readily available components, portable, and easy to setup in the field (<10 min). When measuring soil random roughness the profile meter was compared with a ground based terrestrial Light detection and ranging (lidar). The lidar systematically overestimated random roughness by approximately 15% compared with the profile meter.