Drones to add flying eye on our ecosystem

by on February 12, 2014

From the Charlotte Observer, Feb 9, 2014 by Reid Creager

WFU graduate student Max Messinger and professor Miles Silman show their aircraft used for monitoring the forest canopy

WFU graduate student Max Messinger and professor Miles Silman show their aircraft used for monitoring the forest canopy (photo: Ken Bennett, WFU)

Sure, it resembles a spider on steroids. But a recently developed flying robot – soon to hover over the Peruvian cloud forest for the first time – has potential benefits for everyone.

About a year and a half ago, a small team of Wake Forest researchers came up with the idea of using drones (also called unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs) to gather forest canopy data in the western Amazon region of South America. The area, approximately 3,000 miles wide and home to an estimated 390 billion trees, is a major catalyst for Earth’s climate and weather patterns.

 

Find more like this: alumni, Climate, ecology, Miles Silman, Research, silman

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