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CCS Seminar
Friday - January 28, 2011
12:00 noon
Physics Research Building - Room 595
3 Cummington Street
Professor Alan Strahler
Department of Geography and Environment
Boston University

Scanning Forests with a Ground-Based Near-Infrared Lidar

Global climate and environment is changing fast, and there are many research programs underway that focus on how and where that change is happening. Many of these use remote sensing of the Earth from spacecraft. However, tracking events and changes with remote sensing requires careful modeling of environmental physics, including an understanding of how vegetation canopies interact with light that is eventually scattered into the field of view of a spaceborne radiometer. My colleagues at Australia’s CSIRO have invented a ground-based, scanning lidar that can be used both to measure forest structure (as needed, for example, for measuring forest biomass) and to make 3-D reconstructions of forests that can parameterize complex models of vegetation scattering. Here at BU, our group has borrowed this instrument for field deployments each year since 2007 and made significant progress in retrieving forest structure from the lidar scans. Our work opens the door to better modeling of the reflectance properties of vegetated surfaces, which in turn can lead to better monitoring of environmental change through remote sensing.























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