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Research Fellows Directory

Heiko Balzter

Professor Heiko Balzter

Research Fellow


University of Leicester

Research summary

My research fellowship develops satellite concepts to reduce deforestation to

reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.

Because of global deforestation, a large amount of greenhouse gases is released

to the atmosphere. This accelerates global warming. Governments want to slow

down and eventually halt deforestation as a way of combating dangerous climate

change. Satellites are needed to monitor compliance and inform the public what is

going on.

Over the past year, my research group has simulated a new airborne radar sensor

for mapping forests and analysed airborne data specifically acquired for this

purpose. Radar satellites can see changes in forest cover, forest biomass and

other environmental changes. These methods are now being used in the

European Space Agency project GLOBBIOMASS, which will map the world's

forest resources from space.

Radar satellites can be used in different ways to combat deforestation:

* By mapping forest biomass and providing information on where the highest

biomass is located

* By mapping logging tracks and alerting land owners and government agencies

to a risk of logging

This research has a potential impact on the quality of information on the state of

global forests, the rates of deforestation and areas at risk from future

deforestation. It can inform the public and agencies of changes in forests, and

help reduce deforestation. As increasing finance is becoming available to combat

climate change, this research can help create confidence that obligations from

nations that want to reduce deforestation are being met.

Grants awarded

Satellite concepts for reducing deforestation and mitigating climate change

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Nov 2011 - Oct 2016

Value: £75,000