At the TREES lab, we are testing new technologies for improving our capacity to understand the past, present and future of the Amazon forest.
With a team from National Institute for Space Research, in Brazil and the University of Exeter in the UK we performed the first flights of the fix wing platform named NAURU 500B integrated with a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system (see images below). These flights were part of the project “Pre-Columbian Amazon-Scale Transformations (PAST)” led by Jose Iriarte from the University of Exeter.
For learning more about these Amazonian inhabitants, read the paper from Jonas Souza "Pre-Columbian earth-builders settled along the entire southern rim of the Amazon" published at Nature Communications (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03510-7). Jona's paper is the 1st out of 1,067 tracked articles of a similar age in the journal!
Now, using these LIDAR point clouds from the UAV and also airplanes, we are investigating the spatial extent of earthworks in Amazonia. We hope to have interesting results soon!