Forests are characterized by multiple functions as habitats, climate regulators, protection of urban infrastructure, and as raw material suppliers. The sustainable management of forests requires routine as well as random checks in order to be able to make statements about the condition and to plan and implement targeted interventions accordingly. Relevant questions in this context are: How high is the biomass in the forest? Where are damaged areas found in the forest after a storm? Are there areas that should be reforested? How do reforestation areas develop? In which places is a forest conversion towards more climate stable tree species reasonable?
Can manual inventory be supported by data-based monitoring approaches to answer such questions?
Satellite-based earth observation systems such as ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellites provide image data of the earth’s surface with a spatial resolution of up to 10 meters and a temporal resolution of 5 days. Application-specific processing of the satellite images allows continuous monitoring of large forest areas. By combining them with existing data from manual inventories, data-based models can derive relevant indicators. Thus, the monitoring system can provide automated indications of relevant areas in order to initiate manual controls and interventions in a targeted manner.
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