The Space Case: NASA Fallout Helps Solve 21st Century Problems | Lifestyles


Another green innovation from NASA is the line of forest reclamation tools it has used for 40 years.

Since 1972, Landsat satellite data has helped scientists working with the US Forest Service. Landsat was instrumental in studying the effects of forest restoration after fires and volcanic activity such as the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980. The data calculates and displays tree cover and vegetation as it occurs. which she repels after such events.

Other innovations related to mapping techniques, according to NASA, are the United States Forest Service’s remote sensing laboratory in McClellan, California. The Forest Service uses special maps produced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Airborne Visible / Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) which uses visible light images.

Another JPL instrument, MODIS / ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) visualizes forest fires in thermal infrared light allowing it to visualize the heat created during such events. MASTER data displays very high resolution photos in which isolated trees in a forest are outlined; the more data the better.

Since the prolific and terrible fires cause erosion from the burning of stabilizer plants, the maps give an inventory of what a particular area has experienced, identifying both dead and living areas of the forest. Efforts on these projects at UC Davis, alongside non-government agencies, have helped eliminate the dangers of wildfires, clean up destroyed wood, and create an inventory of plant life to aid reforestation plans.


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