Carbomap, l’Avion Jaune SARL and IRD have collaborated to complete the first canopy height model from the Amazon rainforest using data from the first true UAV-ready LiDAR system. The company says this approach has never been applied before in a tropical rainforest.
The project, CANOPOR, coordinated by IRD focused on the Paracou experimental forest site in French Guiana.
Data for the canopy height model was collected by mounting the system on a manned helicopter. The helicopter then replicated the flight parameters of a typical UAV drone, and provided proof-of-concept for this approach. The UAV approach is more adapted to this type of work, in comparison to the current industry standard which uses full size aircraft for airborne laser scanning (ALS) surveys, according to Carbomap.
The next stages in Carbomap’s forest mapping workflow are the extraction of other forest metrics from the data. Examples of this are the amount of aboveground biomass or carbon stored within the forest area. If multiple datasets are available over time, then the changes in forest cover can be measured.