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Global Change Research Institute, CAS

Department of Remote Sensing


Science from above: we help to understand landscape changes using Earth observation data.

Our department studies the actual status and changes of ecosystems using the up-to-date and rapidly developing methods of remote sensing. Our goal is to develop innovative solutions for qualitative and quantitative assessment, study spatio-temporal changes of ecosystems and their response to various stress agents, and to explore new relationships between the ecosystem elements using different types of remote sensing and field data. We primarily study forest, agro and urban systems and our research is usually connected to the activities of other GCRI departments and other research institutes, because it often integrates a broad variety of data at different ecosystem levels (e.g., leaf – plant – canopy – landscape) at the local up to regional scales.

In our research we use an unique airborne research infrastructure of GCRI – Flying Laboratory of Imaging Systems (FLIS), which is the only one operated in the Czech Republic and one of few in Europe. FLIS carries on-board a suite of state-of-the-art imaging spectroradiometers, thermal spectroradiometer and a laser scanner that allows simultaneous data acquisition and such as providing a comprehensive information about land surface. Besides the airborne data we also analyse multitude of field spectroscopic and laser scanning data, as well as satellite observations (e.g., Sentinels, Landsat, Modis).

 Main research activities:

Ongoing research projects:

  • Prediction of the impact of unfavourable environmental risks on production and non-production functions of agricultural ecosystems using remote sensing methods (2020 – 2022; TAČR SS01020397)
  • Operational assessment of aboveground biomass in forest ecosystems using advanced remote sensing methods (2019 – 2022; NAZV – QK1910150)
  • Assessment of ecosystem function based on Earth observation of vegetation quantitative parameters retrieved from data with high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution (2019 – 2022; MŠMT Inter-Action – LTAUSA18154)
  • Thermal comfort in urban areas: human perception, physics based reality, role of greenery (2019 – 2021; TAČR ÉTA – TL02000322)
  • Development of instruments for planning and assessment of ecological benefit of greenery in towns (2019 – 2021; TAČR EPSILON – TH04030496)

Selected publications:

Still not enough?

  • See our short video about airborne remote sensing and how do we analyse and use the data
  • Check the virtual guide into our airborne research facility (vložit jako odkaz na pano letadla

Forest aboveground biomass assessment using an area-based approach – verified technology

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