Current research is directed at quantitatively relating remotely sensed spectral information to ground-based assessments of structural and functional (i.e. physiological) aspects of forest condition. The proposed EnMAP HSI is excellent for detecting spectral properties related to vegetation: -species, -health, and green leaf water content. Estimates can also be made of the canopy content of chlorophyll, nitrogen, lignin and water. EnMAP will be evaluated as a tool for developing optical indices that will serve as bio-indicators of forest condition. EnMAP will provide a capability to compare observations of spectral properties of forests in many different countries. This is essential in order to develop a consistent tool for monitoring the carbon state of the world’s forests.
Accordingly, the following main scientific and application tasks are considered important to the objectives of the proposed EnMAP mission:
- Mapping of forest species distributions;
- Enhancement and development of invertible vegetation canopy reflectance models for the forest environment for extraction of forest parameters for forest mensuration, health, and risk assessment;
- Investigation of the viability of phenological signatures of indices of canopy pigments and chemistry;
- Development of optical indices that will serve as bio-indicators of forest condition;
- Development of forest monitoring procedures including multi-temporal and multi-sensor data for the detection of canopy cover changes; and
- Creation of advanced expert systems to improve the efficiency of hyperspectral information extraction within the forestry context.