- Parrot teams up with forest canopy biologists to study giant sequoias in California
- Parrot announces a ‘Climate Innovation Grant’ to help foster further innovation surrounding the impact of climate change
Paris, 06. December 2016. Parrot, a leading drone manufacturer, partners with the research group of Dr. Todd Dawson, faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, to promote innovation and the use of drone technology in measuring and monitoring forest ecosystems.
The record-setting drought in California has killed over 60 million trees over the past few years. There is significant concern by scientists on how these die-offs will impact the Sierra Nevada mountains, particularly the stands of iconic giant sequoia trees.
The project is taking a novel approach in studying the architecture and hydraulics, or how water flows, through the massive sequoia trees. The goal is to better understand how individual sequoias have survived for centuries and how they will continue to survive in the future under a changing climate.
“This is a fascinating collaboration for us,” says Dr. Gregory Crutsinger, who leads Scientific Programs for Parrot. “We are combining skill sets of scientific research and professional tree climbing to map the interior structure of a tree crown with cutting-edge drone technology to scan the outside. Together, we have an amazing 3-dimensional dataset that is unique to the world!”
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Climbing trees with ropes and harnesses is a dangerous and time-consuming endeavor. The team is comparing how much canopy data can be captured quickly and safely using drone imagery relative to the days and weeks it takes canopy scientists now to map the trees by hand.
“Tackling a huge and critically important issue like climate change requires research that leads to solutions,” says Dr. Dawson. “Drones with their new on-board sensor packages are powerful new tools that will allow us to look very closely at single trees but then really pull back and look at how an entire forest is responding too, in both time and over space.”
Dr. Dawson and his team are now working in scaling-up the information they are collecting in ways they have never been able to do, not just in the forests of California, but across different ecosystems.
“I see a whole new research agenda here that will help answer questions we never knew we could ask let alone answer,” Dr. Dawson adds.
Parrot launches ‘Climate Innovation Grant’ program
To help foster further innovation surrounding the impact of climate change, Parrot is announcing a ‘Climate Innovation Grant’ program.
This grant program consists of an award of hardware and software. Parrot will provide the Parrot Sequoia multispectral sensor, Pix4D software licenses and training to successful proposals.
Grant proposals should include a geographical/mapping component using UAVs and Pix4D photogrammetric software, as well as multispectral imagery related to the technical capabilities of the Parrot Sequoia sensor.
This grant program* is open to students and researchers across the globe and across a range of disciplines, from archaeology to zoology.
“Parrot encourages people to think about the collection of environmental data in new ways. As sensors like Parrot Sequoia continue to get smaller in both size and weight, robots on land, at sea and in the air will be carrying more and more of these dense data collection devices into environments that were previously inaccessible due to cost and complexity”, explains John Cherbini, Director, Worldwide Commercial Business Development at Parrot. “Advanced processing software like Pix4D can quickly make sense of these complex imaging datasets to help us come to new understandings about our planet. The merging of these three technologies: drones, lightweight sensors and advanced processing software, allows us to start finding answers to questions that we didn’t even know to ask previously.”
See more at: http://edu.parrot.com/climate
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Founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux, Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals.
The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:
- Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.
- Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.
- Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.
Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 1.000 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.
Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)
For more information, please visit www.parrot.com
 Deadline for submissions is January 31st, 2016. Parrot will pick competitors by February 15th.
Entrants will be expected to blog post about their progress during the period from April-June 30th when the winner is selected.