A New Hope: GEDI to Yield 3D Forest Carbon Map
A new NASA laser instrument set to launch to the International Space Station in December will help scientists create the first three-dimensional map of the world’s temperate and tropical forests. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation, or GEDI, is scheduled to launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. From the station, GEDI’s advanced laser technology will reveal the three-dimensional structure of forest ecosystems around the globe.
From its perch on the exterior of the orbiting laboratory, GEDI will be the first space-borne laser instrument to measure the structure of Earth's tropical and temperate forests in high resolution and three dimensions. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists' understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity.
GEDI will accomplish its science goals through an ingenious use of light. The instrument is a lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging. It captures information by sending out laser pulses and then precisely measuring the light that is reflected back.
Caption: Engineer Bente Eegholm's reflection can be seen in the primary mirror of the receiver telescope.
Read more: go.nasa.gov/2AVkVy9
Credit: NASA Goddard/Desiree Stover
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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