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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2009  /  March 2009  /  Sensing materials in the forest canopy

Sensing materials in the forest canopy

NERC CASE Studentship with Lidar Technolgies Ltd for research on instrumentation design

Sensing materials in the forest canopy

Professor Philip Lewis has been awarded a NERC CASE PhD studentship by the NERC Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI), in collaboration with colleagues Prof. Jan-Peter Muller at Mullard Space Science Laboratory ( and Dr Michael Foster of Lidar Technologies Ltd ( The research will explore instrumentation design for a ground-based lidar to measure forest structure.

The advertisement for the studentship can be found here.


The figure shows a simulated hemispherical lidar scan of a potential ground-based lidar system operating at two wavelengths (1530nm and 1064nm in green and blue respectively). Such a measurement concept can help distinguish between different materials in the plant canopy. The image was simulated by Steve Hancock (current UCL Geography/MSSL PhD student) using forest models developed by Dr. Mat Disney and a simulation tool based on the Monte Carlo ray tracing library (librat) of Prof. Lewis (