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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Songxin Tan


Vegetation health is of great importance due to several factors, such as desired crop production and maintaining a balanced ecosystem for the planet earth, etc. Some research was carried out in the 1990s to differentiate among different physiological conditioned leaves by means of florescence LIDAR technology. But polarimetric laser measurement was never applied for the purpose of vegetation health condition detection. In this research, we have used polarimetric laser to differentiate among different physiological conditioned leaves. In order to do that, Stokes parameters of maple leaves along with cottonwood leaves of various natural colors were measured and the result shows that these different colored leaves of the same species have distinct depolarization and degree of polarization pattern i.e., yellow maple leaves show the most depolarization, whereas red maple show the least and the red maple leaves show the most degree of polarization whereas, yellow maple leaves show the least. For cottonwood, yellow leaves also show higher depolarization and lower degree of polarization compared to green leaves. This research successfully used polarimetric laser to differentiate among fresh and drying leaves. Leaves from five different species-­‐ Lilac, Cottonwood, poinsettia,weeping fig, and money plant leaves were used to measure Stokes parameters. The result shows that as the leaves dry up their depolarization ratios tend to go up. The aspect of this research demonstrates that the polarimetric laser measurement of plant leaves is a brand new method for identifying physiological conditions of vegetation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Leaves -- Physiology
Optical measurements


Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-83)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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