UI Researchers / Moscow Consulting Firm Work on NASA Drone Project

Funded by a NASA Idaho Space Grant, CNR post-doctoral researcher Arjan Meddens will use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with lidar to gather data on forests and streams. The data gathered from the UAV will be used to:

  • determine the amount and type of potential fuel for wildland fires near homes with the potential to assess effectiveness of future fuel treatments (i.e., brush removal, controlled burns);
  • analyze forest structural qualities such as the number of trees and growth of trees and plants; and
  • create baseline information on stream habitat that can be used to monitor restoration progress.

The data also will be used to develop curriculum on UAV technology for Lapwai High School students, with the goals of increasing interest and participation in STEM activities.

Industry partner Alta Science and Engineering, Inc. (Alta), headquartered in Moscow, will provide the UAV and flight services for the project.

Arjan Meddens, post-doctoral researcher in College of Natural Resources
Lidar point cloud of a forest
Lidar point cloud of a forest