The NASA Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) program aims to revolutionize our understanding of the world’s forests. By using high-resolution laser ranging observations, GEDI is designed to provide detailed 3D structural information of the forest canopy and the properties of the underlying vegetation. The system collects data that is critical in advancing our knowledge on the Earth’s carbon cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystem structure.
GEDI’s innovative lidar technology allows it to not only accurately measure the height and structure of the forest canopy, but also to penetrate through to the ground, providing information on the forest floor and understory. The resulting data can provide important insights into forest composition, carbon storage, and overall forest health.
Since its launch in December 2018, the GEDI instrument has been continuously collecting data while orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station. The valuable data gathered from GEDI will be used to inform a range of research areas, from improving climate models to advancing sustainable land management practices and aiding in conservation efforts.
As the GEDI mission continues, scientists will have access to a wealth of information, enabling them to deepen their understanding of the world’s forests and their vital role in our planet’s ecosystem.