Tuesday, 1 May 2012

SALCA Diaries Update

It has been a while since we posted any SALCA updates! A lot has happened in that time and new people have joined the team.  The SALCA Diary entries are now up-to-date and the early entries are backdated.

December 2011 to January 2012
We carried out a range of experiments to examine the potential of SALCA for measuring the water content (or equivalent water thickness) of leaves. These were repeats of the experiments described earlier in the blog, but with more leaves from a number of species. The results looked good and hold promise for applications in monitoring water stress in vegetation.

Calibration experiments were also on-going, with Alberto carrying out a range of valuable experiments to provide data for reflectance and range calibration.

In mid-January, we held a workshop at Forest Research’s Northern Research Station near Edinburgh, co-organised by Dr Juan Suarez, to demonstrate SALCA and discuss the outcomes of the two NERC grants to develop and test the technology. With a good turn-out from a mixture of organisations and institutions some very interesting discussions were had and continued over dinner. The workshop was SALCA’s first public appearance and thankfully there was no stage fright, with demonstrations going well!

As the NERC small project grant came to a close, Alberto Ramirez left Salford in early 2012. To take up a position as a Research Associate at the University of Leicester. 

March – April 2012
The early results of the leaf drying experiments, showing a clear relationship between a ratio of the intensity of the two wavelengths and equivalent water thickness of the leaves, were presented at a Food and Environment Research Agency workshop in York (FERA Remote Sensing Workshop – Applications in the UK). These positive results open up possibilities for applications of SALCA in monitoring forest disease, drought stress and fire risk.

This was followed soon after by SALCA’s second public appearance at the LiDAR:net Knowledge Exchange Workshop on Terrestrial Laser Scanning, held at the University of Leicester from 2nd – 3rd April, and co-organised by Mark Danson and Nick Tate from the University of Leicetser. There were around 50 attendees drawn from industry and academia. A review of the state-of-the-art in terrestrial laser scanning by leading researchers was followed by demonstrations of SALCA alongside systems from a range of commercial TLS manufacturers and many useful group discussions on the potential of waveform lidar systems, TLS in general  and some horizon scanning. The opportunity for a Leicester curry was also not to be missed!

Mark Danson and Rachel Gaulton demonstrating SALCA at  LiDAR:Net Knowledge Exchange Workshop