...Understanding a piece of the Earth system
Using global remote sensing from NASA satellites, and a variety of other platforms and sources, Dr. Kamel Didan’s VIP Lab analyzes vegetation in a global context then extrapolates to the regional levels. One of the key BE’s missions is the development of tools that assist in managing resources and aid with decision making, especially when factors such as climate change or drought, as they relate to vegetation, must be accounted for. This allows scientists, engineers, and experts to investigate the interconnectivity of vegetation, food availability, water scarcity, and climate change.
With this wealth of information at our finger tips, we can understand and forecast the slow acting long term changes in the natural ecosystem and calculate the effects it will have on field agriculture crop cultivation – whether deviations in yield as a result of changing climate or the long term impacts of drought on production capacity.
The challenge? Regular capture of global data about vegetation is a complex and teamwork endeavor particularly when cloud cover disrupts the quality of this data – considering clouds cover +60% of the Earth surface daily. BE’s VIP Lab develops software to fill in these gaps, using Terabytes of historical data and complex algorithms to paint a complete and consistent picture of global vegetation distribution in the past, present, and even the short-term future.