Drones used for global warming research

UAV Imaging Services in upstate New York with a modified Sky Hero Spyder 850 holds a Kipp and Zonen pyranometer to pick up shortwave radiation reflected by the vegetation below and record it for an ongoing research project at Cornell University. Data will help scientists interpret how forests can help to control climate change.  Charlotte Levy, a second-year Cornell PhD student, is organizing the research.  Using a telescoping pole with (one of two) pyranometers receives data on solar radiation from overhead.

The ratio between incoming solar radiation and that reflected by trees tells us about the overall ability of forests to reflect climate warming radiation.  In this typical field set-up, one screen monitors the drone’s location while the other keeps track of a camera feed from the drone itself. With this setup, the pilot can track the drone’s status while keeping it in direct line of sight.  This research study will use the data to improve predictions about future climate warming and the impacts of projects to plant trees to control global warming.

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