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The Power of Remote Sensing

From the farm to the forest

An important component of BioCarbon's solution to plant at least 1 billion trees annually is our use of remote sensing to map the area that is to be planted. The idea to use remote sensing is not new and is being extensively and increasingly used in agriculture. Different sensing techniques are used to calculate the ideal amount of water, fertilizer, pesticide and other inputs needed for the purposes of optimizing the use of resources in agriculture, notes Alex Thomasson of Texas A&M University.  
As a 2012 paper by Riyad Ismail et al. notes, remote sensing technologies are also finding their use in forestry. With the help of GPS and fast-evolving remote sensing technology, the authors point out, information on the location, extent, health, vigor, volume and operational status of forests can be gathered and "is essential for the development of government policy, national and international reporting obligations and commercial decisions relating to investment, planning, harvesting and sales".
Similarly, remote sensing can be used on deforested areas that are to be reforested using BioCarbon's technology. Metrics such as vegetation density, water deficit and crop stress can be measured so that we can create a detailed planting pattern that includes information on exactly what types of trees we will grow and where, in what density, and with how much and what type of fertilizer.
In addition, after trees have been planted, we can use other remote sensing techniques to measure the height, number of leaves, size, shape, angle, color, trunk thickness and other key characteristics of growing trees. This monitoring will enable us to both measure our success as well as take action where necessary.
Alex Thomasson notes that drones may well become a common sight in the fields as you drive down your rural highway. We have only one thing to add: you may well see drones even as you enter your local thicket.
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