Speakers Bio & Abstract

Harm Bartholomeus Assistant Professor
Wageningen University
The Netherlands

Harm Bartholomeus is assistant professor in Remote Sensing at Wageningen University, with a focus on the use of different (remote) sensing systems for precision agriculture and environmental studies. His work ranges from hyperspectral soil spectroscopy, UAV based hyperspectral soil and vegetation studies to structural assessment of tropical forest using terrestrial laser scanning.Abstract
Investigating Tropical Forests with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Constant monitoring of tropical forests is important to increase our knowledge on effects of climate change. However, mapping aspects like forest structure, degradation and deforestation is time-consuming and expensive. Innovative high-tech approaches like Terrestrial Lidar Scanning (TLS) and Hyperspectral Sensing from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) may revolutionize the way we monitor our forests.

In the last few years, the Wageningen UR Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility (UARSF) was involved in a number of campaigns to investigate the use innovative technologies for mapping the plant traits of tropical forest. In this approach, UAV based sensing is allowing for multi-scale observations and filling the gap between ground based sampling and satellite based observations. Our Hyperspectral Mapping System observes both forest structural information, which can be derived from the 3D point cloud data, and the biochemistry of the tree canopy which can be characterized from the hyperspectral data cube. Less dedicated off the shelf systems like the DJI Phantom 3 can be used for mapping forest structure and determine logging intensity and damage.

We will show examples of our work across the tropics, with illustrations from field campaigns in Indonesia, Ghana and Guyana and describe our methods to derive individual tree-level plant traits.