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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  May 2010  /  LiDAR:Net - A Terrestrial LiDAR Knowledge Exchange (KE) Network

LiDAR:Net - A Terrestrial LiDAR Knowledge Exchange (KE) Network

Philip Lewis in succesful bid as part of NERC Earth Observation Technology Cluster

LiDAR:Net - A Terrestrial LiDAR Knowledge Exchange (KE) Network

Professor Philip Lewis is part of a sucessful bid to form a Knowledge Exchange Network concerned with the development of Terrestrial LiDARs under the NERC Earth Observation Technology Cluster hosted by Nottingham University. The network is headed by Dr Nick Tate of the University of Leicester, and will get together interested groups from academic research, industry and NERC to facilitate future research collaboration, workshops exploring specific technical and applications problems of terrestrial LiDAR, and the preparation of scoping and research papers.

LiDAR is a technology in which the amount of light reflected back from a laser pulse is used to measure the distance to an object and/or its properties. In UCL Geography, we have a particular interest in using this technology to remotely measure the structure and biomass of trees and other plants. One application is terrestrial LiDAR, where, for forest applications, the instrument is located in a forest and 'scans' the trees.

We are involved in several collaborations relating to the development of such instruments, especially those using several laser wavelengths at the same time, to distinguish leaves from branches etc. One of these, with Prof. Mark Danson of Salford University, involves building the Salca instrument under a NERC Technologies Proof of Concept programme. Another, with colleagues at Boston University, funded by the US National Science Foundation,  will build a new version of the Australian CSIRO Echidna instrument.

[Picture: simulation of dual wavelength LiDAR signal of a birch canopy for Echidna instrument (simulation by Steven Hancock). The simulation models light scattering and absorption using Monte Carlo methods. The simulation software written by Prof. Lewis available for download from http://www2.geog.ucl.ac.uk/~plewis/bpms/src/start/tests/lidar/lidar0.html

See also: http://www.eotechcluster.org.uk/


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