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12 October 2015 Concept study of a vegetation lidar on International Space Station
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IPCC Fifth Assessment Report says that there are still large uncertainties of carbon flux estimations in the interaction between ground and atmosphere. That is because of the uncertainties of “change of land use”, in other words, “change of biomass” such as deforestation. Biomass estimation needs not only area of the forest but also its height information with topological features. In that sense, active sensors are highly expected for precise height measurement. Laser Altimeter or simply LIDAR is able to measure the height of dense forest, where SAR has salutation. ICESat / GLAS is firstly used to measure biomass as satellite LIDAR. However it was reported that there is uncertainty where terrain relief exists. To calibrate terrain relief using multi footprints, a Vegetation LIDAR named MOLI (Multi Observation LIDAR and Imager) was studied by JAXA. The unique points of MOLI are the dual beams with enough small and close footprints to determine terrain relief. Full wave analysis technique is also under development to distinguish canopy heights, crown depth and other forest features. Co-aligned imager will be used for determination of positions where LIDAR measured and observation of phonology. MOLI system design is about to finalize. Regarding Laser Transmitter, Bread Board Model with pressure vessel is being tested under vacuum condition. Target launch year of MOLI is around 2019.
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T. Kimura, T. Imai, D. Sakaizawa, T. Kobayashi, and J. Murooka "Concept study of a vegetation lidar on International Space Station", Proc. SPIE 9639, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XIX, 96390K (12 October 2015);

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