Airborne remote sensing data collected in support of the NH EPSCoR Ecosystems & Society project were provided by SpecTIR®. Data products delivered directly from SpecTIR include scaled at-sensor radiance (mW cm-2 sr-1 nm-1), reflectance (unitless), and associated georeferencing models and look-up tables. The reflectance data product is generated using the ATCOR4 implementation of the MODTRAN4 atmospheric model. (Full image product documentation is available upon request.)
Data products developed at UNH from aircraft imagery include summer and winter surface albedo, foliar nitrogen concentration, land cover and forest composition maps. These data will be used in models that will help predict the future of New Hampshire's ecosystems. As an example, incorporating spatially-explicit estimates of vegetation canopy nitrogen concentration over different land cover types derived from the airborne hyperspectral imagery into an ecosystem model will allow for better predictions of carbon fluxes under future land-use and climate scenarios.
The airborne remote sensing data are integral to several other EPSCoR-related efforts, and will continue to leverage additional STEM projects beyond the Ecosystems & Society project. For example, the airborne remote sensing data collected for this EPSCoR Ecosystems & Society project will be used to develop forest composition maps that will allow for more accurate estimates of seasonal albedo, and, thus more accurate estimates of forest ecosystem services. They will also allow for studies within the Lamprey River Watershed, the Bartlett Experimental Forest, and the Hubbard Brook experimental watersheds that rely on tree species abundances and distribution. Research projects that rely on detailed tree species maps, for instance, include those examining bird and lepidoptera population distributions, studies of forest mycorrhizal fungal symbionts, and assessments of species-specific responses to stressors including drought, pest infestations, and extreme weather events.