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Apr 27 2011

The Great Tree Survey


This month's issue of National Geographic on page 30, has a rather interesting
article with many similarities to our current research endeavors. While this
article's research platform is a LiDAR scanning system, the method to gain a
concept of carbon storage within a canopied system, by way of 3D visualization
is fairly similar. The author notes the large scale tree planting programs currently
 underway in China and their effect on the reduction of CO2 emissions. Long running
political debates regarding carbon trading are summarized in this online abridged
 version of the full article, but the focus is following Greg Asner's team
of ecologists and their "CAO" program.  The teams involvement in the REDD
(Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) have boosted confidence in
providing a cost-effective and high precision method in estimating carbon stores
 within the Amazon. Results found that older, more developed forests stored as much
 as three times the amount of carbon than those composed primarily of secondary growth.
One abstract application of their airborne observatory noted using this 3D imaging
 platform to map termite mounds in savannahs, I suppose this would have some application
 for unmanned vehicles, because hexacopters are resistant to termites and fire ants….




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