03 octubre 2011

Análisis dendrométrico de selva amazónica con espectómetro y Láser

Carnegie Airborne Observatory

A Revolutionary Technology is Unlocking Secrets of the Forest

A new imaging system that uses a suite of airborne sensors is capable of providing detailed, three-dimensional pictures of tropical forests — including the species they contain and the amount of CO2 they store — at astonishing speed. These advances could play a key role in preserving the world’s beleaguered rainforests.
by Rhett Butle

This summer, high above the Amazon rainforest in Peru, a team of scientists and technicians conducted an ambitious experiment using a pioneering technology. Deploying a pair of sweeping lasers that sent 400,000 pulses per second toward the ground, as well as an imaging spectrometer that could detect the chemical and light-reflecting properties of individual plants and trees 7,000 feet below, the researchers were able to instantaneously gather a vast amount of information about the unexplored tracts of cloud forest that passed beneath their airplane.

Conceived by Greg Asner, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, the new system — known as AToMS, or the Airborne Taxonomic Mapping
System — has the potential to transform how tropical forest research is conducted. By combining several breakthrough technologies, Asner and his colleagues can capture detailed images of individual trees at a rate of 500,000 or more per minute, enabling them to create a high-resolution, three-dimensional map of the physical structure of the forest, as well as its chemical and optical properties. In Peru, the scientists hoped to not only determine what tree species lay below, but also to gauge how the ecosystem was responding to last year’s drought — the worst ever recorded in the Amazon — as well as help Peru develop a better mechanism for monitoring deforestation and degradation.

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