The European Space Agency released an image showing what a commercial forest looks like from the perspective of a 3D laser scanner. Crazy!
This color image was captured with a laser LIDAR (light detection and ranging) system from Irish company Treemetrics which conducts a "360-degree survey at regular intervals to measure the straightness and health of trees."
"What Treemetrics aims to deliver is more wood from fewer trees, through a complete end-to-end forest management system. It combines forest mapping, assessment and valuing with decision-making tools for harvest planning as well as real-time monitoring of the cutting and collecting process," explained Treemetrics.
Treemetrics developed a project in collaboration with ESA's Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme's Integrated Applications Promotion to integrate satellite communications into its system, enabling managers to monitor their equipment and track harvesting as it happens, even from remote forest locations.
The 3D scanner and ESA satellite technology are new pieces in play for keeping forests healthy while still supplying the world's demand for tree products.