Another green innovation from NASA is the forest restoration toolkit it has used for 40 years.
Since 1972, Landsat satellite data has been helping scientists working with the US Forest Service. Landsat has played an important role in studying the effects of forest restoration after fires and volcanic activity, such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. The data calculate and show tree cover and vegetation in the region. as it grows back after these events.
Other related innovations in mapping techniques include the US Forest Service’s remote sensing laboratory in McClellan, Calif., According to NASA. The Forest Service uses special maps produced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (AVIRIS) Visible / Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) which uses visible light images.
Another tool for JPL, MOsay/ ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) shows a forest fire in thermal infrared light, allowing it to see the heat generated by such events. MASTER data shows high resolution images identifying individual trees in the forest; The more data the better.
Because many horrific fires cause erosion from the burning of stabilizing vegetation, the maps provide an inventory of what a particular area has experienced, identifying both dead and living areas in the forest. Efforts on these projects at UC Davis, as well as non-government agencies, have helped eliminate the risk of wildfires, clean up destroyed wood, and create an inventory of plant life to aid in reforestation plans.
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