In this context Dr. Kellndorfer states, "This project depends on the confluence of these national datasets, and the development of a complex set of models, each of which has its own accuracy characteristic. We are keen to see new global satellite missions which would provide much improved height, biomass, and carbon estimates more directly, e.g., through a fusion of lidar and interferometric radar technology."
Dr. Kellndorfer and his colleagues at the Woods Hole Research Center are beginning the first phase of the project, expected to conclude in early 2007. The first mapping zone targeted by the study is in central Utah, where the current production of the NLCD2001 is completed and where high quality NED data are available. Furthermore, central Utah is of high interest for the fire modeling community, which will benefit from the results as well. The first stage will be an iterative period devoted largely to algorithm development, testing, and subsequent refinement. An important outcome of this phase will be an advanced understanding of the functional relationships between vegetation canopy height estimates and estimates of biomass and carbon stocks. Overall, work will be completed for several representative ecoregions totaling roughly 10 percent of the conterminous United States.