CSX is redefining natural capital management with cutting-edge science
The landscape is shifting
Innovation is shaping what’s practical and affordable. We’re taking advantage of new methods and technologies to measure with clarity, accuracy, and ease.
Accessibility of cost effective Earth Observation data is rapidly improving.
Better user experience
Improved interfaces of new systems are facilitating adoption by non-technical users (e.g. farmers operating drones).
New technology is enabling more accurate estimation of Above Ground Biomass (AGB).
All of these are providing traceable, repeatable measurement with a clear audit trail.
Tools and methods we’re using
Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS)
A non-destructive ground-based, active imaging method that acquires accurate, dense 3D point clouds of object surfaces by laser range finding. 3D measurements of trees are collected in situ and combined with geometric modelling to estimate their volume. Isolating individual trees from a forest point cloud followed by enclosing points with geometric shapes results in a volume estimate of the tree, which can be converted to mass using the wood density.
Drone Optical Imaging
Capturing very high spatial resolution image data over woodlands enables monitoring the development of very young trees that may not be captured by traditional satellite datasets. Further, use of photogrammetry and Machine Learning techniques with this data can provide us with additional information for mapping and monitoring forests.
Drone LIDAR Imaging
LIDAR “light detection and ranging” is a technology that has been around for many decades but has only recently been available in a size and power feasible for carrying on large drones. A LIDAR sensor sends out pulses of laser light and measures the exact time it takes for these pulses to return as they bounce from the ground. It also measures the intensity of that reflection. These data enable us to capture surface terrain, tree locations and heights as a basis for estimating above ground biomass.
Examples of our imaging
Platform launch 2023
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BEAMS (Biocarbon Europe: Advancing Measurement Standards)
CSX are embarking on a dedicated scientific research program that will utilise the latest in earth observation technologies (ground, airborne and satellites) and data analytics to improve the measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) of above ground biomass carbon.
The scientific research program supported by leading academic institutions including the University of Oxford and Ghent University (Belgium) will underpin the development of an operational natural capital management system.
Key outcomes will address several knowledge gaps in the scientific assessment of AGB across the UK and European forests and bring confidence to forest carbon stock estimates being reported through both compliance and voluntary trading mechanisms.
Better quantified estimates (with measurement uncertainty) of AGB (carbon stock) tested at a range of forest carbon observatory sites.
Testing and comparison of the robustness of different AGB measurement devices (scientific and commercial) and analytical techniques.
Provision of good practice guidance for the collection and estimation of AGB from different measurement devices and techniques which can be adopted widely across the forest carbon measurement space.
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