Sunday, 15 June 2014

SALCA team head for the hills

SALCA headed north of the border into Scotland last week as part of Rachel's Royal Society project to examine forest health using remote sensing measurements. Mark, Rachel and Magdalena Smigaj, PhD student at Newcastle, braved the world-famous Scottish midges (Culicoides impunctatus) to collect SALCA data at five test plots in Aberfoyle Forest near Stirling in the Loch Lomand and the Trossachs National Park. 

Rachel and Magdelena equipped for the midges
SALCA seemed to work but how will the midges affect the point clouds?
The project is focussed on a series of instrumented plots, run by Dr Juan Suarez from UK Forest Research, where Red Band Needle Blight, caused by the pathogen Dothistroma septosporum, has infected Scots pine plantation forestry. There is great concern about the spread of the pathogen to other species and in particular to Scots pine in 
remnant Caledonian forest areas. We will examine the SALCA data to determine whether the foliage in the infected trees can be identified. The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will fly an airborne hyperspectral imager, full waveform lidar and thermal scanner over the site in the next few days to support the project.

Aberfoyle Forest and the Trossachs

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