3D Laser Mapping Scanner Helps UCL Scientists Map Trees
“By monitoring how much carbon our trees are storing and how this is changing in response to climate and manmade threats such as agriculture, forest and bush fires, logging, etc, we can contribute valuable inputs to further our understanding of the carbon cycle,” commented Dr Mathias Disney, Senior Lecturer in Remote Sensing at University College London. “Having worked with a number of other instruments over the years, we already knew the accuracy, range and wavelength requirements needed when working in forests and that the VZ-400 from 3D Laser Mapping performed in all these areas.”
The laser scanner is being used to capture highly detailed measurements recording the 3D structure of individual trees in large forest areas. By using the VZ-400, researchers can estimate the stored carbon to within a few percent accuracy; measurements that otherwise would have to be made manually by cutting and weighing trees. Data recorded using the VZ-400 is also being used to build highly detailed models that can be used to help further understand satellite and airborne data — also important tools in these areas of research. The scanner has already been used at a number of sites and the college plans to deploy the scanner later this year in Amazonia, in a project to look at the impact of drought, and Malaysia, in a project to understand the effect of both natural and man-made disturbances.
“As the U.K. supplier of our system of choice, 3D Laser Mapping were very helpful throughout the entire procurement process; from help with the initial funding application through to onsite training and support,” concluded Dr Disney. Funding for the VZ-400 was granted by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The VZ-400 will also be used by other staff and students at UCL, as well as collaborators from the U.K., Europe, Australia and Africa. The laser scanner will also be used to support teaching on University College London’s MSc courses in Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping.
3D Laser Mapping is a global developer of laser scanning solutions for sectors such as mapping, mining and manufacturing. 3D Laser Mapping specializes in integrating laser scanning hardware with their own software and peripherals to create solutions at the cutting edge of technology. Through a worldwide network of distributors, 3D Laser Mapping is able to provide frontline support and service for a growing international client base. For further information, visit www.3dlasermapping.com
The RIEGL VZ-400 utilizes unique echo digitization and online waveform analysis to achieve superior performance and accuracies of measurement, even under adverse weather conditions. Achieving accuracies of 5mm at ranges of up to 600 meters (an increase of 100 meters on earlier models), the VZ-400 can measure up to 122,000 points per second with a 100 x 360-degree field of view. The evaluation of multiple targets combined with a reliable, robust and lightweight construction makes the VZ-400 ideally suited to civil engineering, city modelling and architectural projects, for example.
RIEGL has over 30 years’ experience in the research, development and production of laser range finders, distance meters and scanners. Primarily a technology company, RIEGL specializes in producing technically innovative solutions for specific applications working in partnership with organizations such as 3D Laser Mapping to produce powerful turnkey solutions for multiple fields of application. For further information, visit www.riegl.com.