|The AfriSCAT P-band RADAR instrument on the tower in the Ankasa forest.|
We visited the site, with the help of collaborators from CMCC in Italy, along with our colleagues from Wageningen University, Alvaro Lau Sarmiento, Cornelis Valk, Harm Bartholomeus and Martin Herold. so we could operate two lidars of the same type, in order to move faster and reduce risk. This is the first time we think anyone's deployed two lidars simultaneously in a tropical forest like this. It involved a bit of planning and synchronising so we all use the same protocols, but it seems to be paying off in terms of what we can cover. Also visiting was Yadvinder Malhi, our colleague from Oxford, who's been working at the Ankasa site for some time (and in Ghana more generally), establishing several large permanent plots in overlapping the one we were scanning and nearby. Yadvinder is working with with Harm and Juha Suomalainen, also from Wageningen, to collect UAV data over the site. Yadvinder is particularly interested in the relationship between tree traits, and structure, and is using the hyperspectral UAV data combined with detailed measurements made by his ground team, to try and understand these issues. See some lovely examples of the UAV footage of the site on Yadvinder's blog.
|L to R; Justice, Cornelis, Alvaro, Andy and Phil (standing).|
|The view from the Ankasa tower is pretty stunning, if a little hot in climbing.|
|The team, sitting on a buttressed root with the two lidars.|
|An example of a slice through the AfriSCAT footprint plot showing the scan locations on the slope. The colours are reflectance i.e. brighter colours represent higher scattered lidar energy.|
Below we can see another example of the lidar data from the AfriSCAT plot, from two scan lines, and joined together by Andy.
|A slice around 70m long and 5m deep through the plot, coloured by height up to around 40m for the tallest trees.|