SALCA: Dual-wavelength laser scanning for forest health monitoring

Project Leader: Dr Rachel Gaulton
Sponsors: Natural Environment Research Council
Partners: Salford University, University College London
Start/end dates:
2013 - 2014
Contact: Dr Rachel Gaulton

Project Details

salcaThis NERC-funded project, in collaboration with Salford University and UCL, tests, through experimental approaches and the use of models, a new approach to measuring the water content of forest canopies, as a measure of drought stress and an indicator of disease or fire risk. Using the recently developed and unique ground-based laser scanner, the Salford Advanced Laser Canopy Analyser (SALCA), leaf water content can be measured directly, by detecting the influence of water on reflectance of laser pulses at two different wavelengths. SALCA can therefore provide three-dimensional measurements of canopy water content at canopy scales. The project will act as a demonstration of the ability of dual-wavelength laser scanner systems for forest health monitoring, facilitating further development of the technology for use as an airborne or satellite instrument and in validation of satellite data products.

Related publication:
Gaulton R, Danson FM, Ramirez FA, Gunawan O. The potential of dual-wavelength laser scanning for estimating vegetation moisture content. Remote Sensing of Environment 2013, 132, 32-39. (link:

Academic Staff