DeLeaves on the field with NEON

Credits: DeLeaves, Caption: Sample of Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) with cones, collected with the DeLeaves.
DeLeaves enabling the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to speed up their data collection

The DeLeaves team was out in the field for a second time with the DeLeaves sampling tool and the DJI Matrice 300 to perform a full week of tree sampling at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) field site, in Maryland. During a 4-day period, a total of 40 trees from 18 different species were successfully sampled. The resulting measurements of foliar traits (leaf mass per area, moisture content, and chemistry) help researchers use AOP data to map foliar traits over large landscapes and monitor change in foliar properties over time.

“I was really impressed with how quickly we were able to obtain samples that were of a higher quality than those we’ve retrieved with other methods in the past. It easily reduced the amount of time needed to complete our field campaign by at least half (and maybe as much as two-thirds), and completely removed the frustrations we experience when using line launchers to target tall canopy trees [...].”
-Gregory Chapman, field scientist at NEON

“The DeLeaves sampler improvements over the last two years made the sampling process more safe and efficient through a simplified interface and improved obstacle avoidance features. I was comfortable flying missions after one day of training."
-David Durden, NEON research scientist and trained drone pilot

The DeLeaves will be showcased at the  2021 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting during the : “Autonomous Scientific Observations: Building reproducible research today and into the future" town hall, co-chaired by Durden

Read the full story on NEON’s website.