A Radar-Based Change Detection Technology Is Helping Preserve Our Forests

The purpose of the forest industry is to provide the world with wood-based products, such as lumber, paper, and renewable energy. Yet as populations and standards of living increase, so does the need for wood products. The demand for more wood also gives rise to concern over earth’s remaining natural forests. With the need for producing more wood based products and keeping the earth’s untouched forests protected, it is evident that forestry must become more efficient.

Foresters are joining forces with the space industry to develop solutions to help preserve our environment’s natural assets. This new approach is sometimes referred to as precision forestry, and it relies on the newest technological solutions driven by data. A number of precision forestry companies are creating solutions that are helping the forestry industry improve its productivity and also its environmental impact.

PlanetWatchers, for example, is a startup that applies remote sensing, radar satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to monitor natural assets, such as forests. PlanetWatchers’ founders, Ariel Smoliar and Roi Shilo, used remote sensing and radar satellite imagery during their military service and in their scientific research. The two discovered that this advanced technology could also be used to detect the slightest anomalies in our forests.

To get a better understanding of how this technology is being applied to monitor forests, I spoke with Dr. Päivi Väänänen, PlanetWatchers’ Head of Forestry Program. She is a professional forester and a forest ecologist from Helsinki, Finland, who recently earned her Ph.D from Hebrew University of Jerusalem by studying the effect of drought on trees in Israel. Päivi explains from a biological perspective how remote sensing, radar satellites, and big data analytics are helping to preserve our forests.

(Continue Reading…)

Source: Huffington Post

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