Exploration of the rain forest canopy using airships and similar aerial platforms

A number of future missions are currently being considered at various sites around the world.

The science carried-out during these missions will probably be integrated and could include:

1) Flora collections and sampling (especially epiphytes such as bromeliads).

2) Photographic surveys of tree crowns.

3) Entomological sampling (e.g., using suction traps).

4) Fauna surveys (e.g. radio tracking and use of thermal imagers).

5) Micro-meterological surveys, e.g., supra-canopy carbon dioxide concentrations.

6) Low altitude remote-sensing (hyper-spectral imaging) of the canopy.

 

Potential users (scientists and conservationists) are invited to contact us.

Also potential site operators who are interested in cooperation are invited to contact us.

We are particularly interested in identifying operational sites that have high biodiversity (pristine rain forest), where the wind speed about 10m above the canopy has been established by anemometry to be consistently low: e.g., less than 2 m/s for about 8 hours each day and 9 months each year. In order to operate the airship an existing forest clearing of about 50m x 50m is required less than 0.5 km from the site.

Flora sampling will be limited to the upper 1m of canopy branches in the next mission campaign - probably in 2009. Sampling will be limited to durations of about 1 hour (max.) close to upper foliage in an operational radius of about 2 km.

The current scientific advisory group can been seen on the contact page.