The Auwald Crane in Leipzig is a long established research station for the investigation of forest canopy biology. The crane is 40 meter high, 45 m long and even can be driven on a rail system 120 across to cover a large area including more than 800 tree crowns. Using this unique platform, scientists can reach any point of the tree almost effortless via a gondola that dives down into the green leafs.
In recent years, the research focus covers current topics such as dry events, photosynthetic activity and gas exchanges in the scope of climate change. Supporting these studies, a FloX system for the measurement of radiance fluxes and chlorophyll fluorescence was installed on the very end of the crane´s arm.
Enjoying the great view, a team of climbers safely attached to the crane structure itself lifted the instruments components toward the installation point and mounted the FloX. This enables the hyperspectral sensor to directly measure a variety of tree species. As the crane moves frequently, a camera was aligned with the downward looking sensor to capture images along with each spectral datapoint. Investigating the unique data of this installation, the scientists of the Leipzig University will advance their research in the understanding of typical forest ecosystems.