Drones will help assess the state of forests in the Sverdlovsk region – Search


With the financial support of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the specialists of the Ural-Carbon test site bought new equipment: unmanned aerial vehicles worth 5 million rubles each. Two industrial drones will help assess the state of forests in the Sverdlovsk region: the quantity and quality of trees, vegetation, potential carbon reserves and other parameters.

“Each drone is equipped with two accessories: a lidar (laser radar) and a multispectral camera. Lidar transmits a three-dimensional image of the surface, with its help it is possible to determine the height of trees, bushes and estimate the density of vegetation. The multispectral camera provides an assessment of the state of the vegetation, the amount of green photosynthetic mass capable of retaining carbon. For this, the camera has five lenses that see in different spectra: two ranges in the red part of the spectrum, green, blue, infrared. This allows it correctly track the color spectra of the vegetation and assess the amount of vegetation preserved even, for example, in the fall,” explains Konstantin Gribanov, lead researcher of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Physics of the UrFU.

The multispectral data obtained and the results of laser scanning will be studied by specialists from the Ural State University of Forestry Engineering and the Ural Federal University. It will compare data from drones and satellites, as well as ground-based measuring instruments. The ratio of all indicators will allow to build mathematical models to evaluate carbon sequestration by woody vegetation both in areas of the carbon range and in subsequent work in arbitrary areas of forest ecosystems in the territory of the Russian Federation. With their help, scientists will assess how much carbon can be absorbed by vegetation in a given area.

“This technological part is very important for future practical applications. Especially when a carbon farm is created, which can be an artificially created forest plantation, where it will be necessary to evaluate the growth of woody vegetation phytomass annually to improve the accuracy of the quantitative assessment of the carbon deposited by it, he points out. Valery Fomin, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at USFTU. – Comparison of annual data obtained using high-tech equipment from an unmanned aerial vehicle will help to obtain information on the height of woody plants. And by knowing the patterns of changes in the phytomass of trees with age, we will be able to obtain quantitative estimates of the annual increase in the carbon stock in a forest plantation and, consequently, calculate the carbon units (equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide) produced by such carbon farm”.

In addition, a turbulent pulsation flow measurement mast (CT-S3T series steel mast, Li-Cor equipment) is being installed in the carboniferous area, which will also help scientists assess the CO2 fluxes over the ecosystem of the area site Carboniferous in the vicinity of Kourovka Astronomical Observatory.


Carbon polygons are territories with the most typical ecosystems of a given region, chosen to study the balance of climate-active gases. Employees of universities and scientific organizations of carbon polygons carry out a number of important researches in the field of ecology.

Carbon sequestration is the sequestration of carbon by forests, swamps and vegetation, preventing its release into the atmosphere. The retention of carbon in forests makes it possible to eliminate its negative impact on the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Ural-Carbon polygon is represented by taiga forests, as forest lands make up 70% of the territory of the Sverdlovsk region, and the taiga is one of the most important reservoirs of carbon sink from the atmosphere due to photosynthesis and its storage at long term . The research sites are the Kourovskaya Astronomical Observatory of the Federal University of the Urals and the Experimental and Educational Forestry Company of the Urals of the State University of Forestry Engineering of the Urals. The project also involves the Ural State Agrarian University, the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Industrial Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics. of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Botanical Garden of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Photo: Daniil Kovalenko / UrFU.

Federal University of the Urals

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