Image

Scientists fight to keep Lidar on Space Station

4 May 2022
A controversy is brewing between remote sensing scientists and administrators from NASA and the agency’s international partners. The debate centers around how long the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar system will continue to operate from the International Space Station before the system is decommissioned and left to burn up in the atmosphere.

Since 2019, scientists have used GEDI to discern characteristics of the land below. Among all the instruments in space, GEDI’s lasers have the unique ability to penetrate forest canopies and provide information about the height and structure of vegetation.

Remote sensing scientists say the system gives them unparalleled opportunities to assess how much carbon forests store—a capability that could be critical for curbing climate change. But GEDI is slated to be decommissioned in March 2023, and these opportunities may go with it. The GEDI team is pushing for the project’s end date to be extended an additional year.

Laura Duncanson, a remote sensing scientist at the University of Maryland and a member of the GEDI team, points to dire climate projections in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as clear justification for GEDI to continue operating. “To just burn up a mission that’s actually helping solve this problem is bonkers to me,” she said.

GEDI deputy principal investigator Scott Goetz agrees. “It’s just the worst possible time to be removing this instrument,” he said. Ralph Dubayah, GEDI’s principal investigator, started trying to get a vegetation-penetrating lidar system into space in 1997. NASA cancelled the first project he took part in—a mission to launch a satellite-based system—after the engineering team ran into technical problems.

A subsequent project aimed to launch two satellites, one carrying lidar and the other carrying radar, which provide complementary information. Budget concerns became the second project’s downfall. Dubayah said that he and his colleagues thought, “Well, maybe we can put it on the space station.” It took two attempts to get NASA to fund the GEDI mission, but in late 2018, the instrument finally launched.

More >>

Source: EOS Science News

Read More
Image

Mapping Gisborne’s worst eroding land

Gisborne land adaptation shifts have received positive feedback from both the Eastland Wood Council and an environmental group. The region’s farmers and forestry companies might end up with designated land they can’t operate on under new council plans. Council chief ...
Read more
Image

Canadian developed Hydrogen-diesel system secured

HVMS, a leading provider in the decarbonisation of transportation, has announced the establishment of its partnership with Canadian company Diesel Tech Industries, to establish installation facilities for the Guardian Hydrogen Diesel System. This initiative marks a significant step towards advancing sustainable ...
Read more
Image

Australian timber framing industry gets a boost

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is set to spearhead an initiative highlighting the advantages of timber framing in construction, promising a significant boost to its promotion efforts. First established in the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, and funded by ...
Read more
Image

Who’s transforming our economy with renewable resources?

The opportunities for converting forestry fibre to renewable resources to replace fossil fuel based products are growing every year. The adoption of bioenergy and related technologies / products in New Zealand and internationally, sourced from forestry and wood products companies ...
Read more
Image

New trade agreement a boost for NZ wood processors

Increased export opportunities through the removal of tariffs for 41 wood products included within the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ is welcomed by New Zealand’s wood processing and manufacturing industry. ‘Under brand New Zealand we have a leading story to ...
Read more
Image

Södra to become the largest producer of kraft lignin in the world

As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility ...
Read more
Image

NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey – data needed

On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a ...
Read more
Image

Unlimited potential of virtual reality for forest thinning

How a virtual reality (VR) and gaming engine could add another tool to the forestry training kit. A future where new foresters are trained to thin trees from the safety of a virtual reality forest before more advanced real-world training could be ...
Read more
Image

Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
Read more