Open Space Seattle:2100

Monday, August 07, 2006

Understanding Forest Structures From Space



This post on The Sierra Club's blog, the Compass, is just what us eco-friendly, technophiles love to see. A really cutting-edge technology--in this case the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS)--that is being used for some exciting ecological work--looking at the forest structure to find irov-billed woodpecker habitat. So cool!

They describe the technology thus:
The instrument uses lasers that send pulses of energy to the Earth's surface. Photons of light from the lasers bounce off leaves, branches and the ground and reflect back to the instrument. By analyzing these returned signals, scientists receive a direct measurement of the height of the forest's leaf covered tree tops, the ground level below and everything in between.

"LVIS is aiding this search effort far beyond what aircraft photos or satellite images can provide in the way of just a two-dimensional rendering of what's below," said Woody Turner, Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
All of this info comes from NASA, which, thanks to our friends in the other Washington, no longer is interested in the Earth.

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