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New research funding to measure trees from space

View of trees from space

A project, which will explore the potential to provide the most detailed maps ever of the UK treescape through monitoring them from space, has been awarded funding from the UK Space Agency.

TreeView, led by Dr Kadmiel Maseyk, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Sciences in the OU’s Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, is one of 22 projects which have been awarded a share of over £8 million of funding to put the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space innovation.

The project, which received just under £284,000, will conduct a feasibility study for a SmallSat mission, which will allow trees to be measured, mapped and monitored from space and lead to the development of the UK’s first Precision Forestry tool.

Dr Maseyk said:

“A major pillar of UK’s national response to the climate change emergency is a significant increase in tree planting for carbon sequestration and storage. TreeView will adopt a ‘NewSpace’ approach, which takes a more holistic and integrated approach satellite development, to develop a platform that will transform our ability to image down to the individual tree.”

Collaborators on Treeview are: OU Next Generation Multi-Media Group from Computing and Communications, and the Centre for Electronic Imaging, XCAM Ltd, In-Space Missions Ltd, RAL Space, Teledyne e2v, Forest Research, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Grey Consultants Ltd and 2Excel-geo.

TreeView will provide unique new data and products to drive innovative science. The initial stages of the mission will develop the most detailed maps yet of the UK treescape. These maps will answer questions about the size, species distribution and potential of UK’s treebased carbon stores and the current state, resilience and vulnerability of UK tree biodiversity. This national inventory of trees will provide new opportunity for UK science to pioneer world-leading research in carbon storage and ecosystem services from trees, creating a unique advantage for UK researchers.

Find out more about OU research in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

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