A Remote Automated Optical Field Sampling System based on the UniSpec-DC equipped with a Wireless System

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Courtesy of PP Systems

For remote locations, a reliable and repeatable field sampling method is needed for monitoring ecosystem processes for various scientific reasons (e.g. ground truthing, link vegetation indices to ecophysiological variables) (Claudio et al., in press; Fuentes et al., in press, Cheng et al., in press). To ensure that the data are collected continuously, and to collect the data during severe weather (e.g. in Arctic or in the desert), an automatic wireless setup is strongly demanded. A research group directed by Dr. John A. Gamon at California State University, Los Angeles has used a tram system (Figure 1), consisting of a dual-detector spectrometer (UniSpec-DC) mounted on a robotic cart for mobile sampling of ecosystem spectral reflectance together with a wireless system. With this system, the group was able to collect data in Barrow, AK and Sky Oaks in Southern California for the last six years (Cheng et al., in press, Gamon et al., in review). This system allows them to collect data in order to analyze key factors affecting ecosystem ecophysiological and optical properties. The tram system is designed to monitor environmental conditions using a variety of environmental sensors and on-board datalogger and remotely sensed vegetation indices using the highly portable UniSpec-DC system (Figure 2).

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