By Kymberly Martin

Drone manufacturer in US collaboration.

French-based advance technology group Parrot has teamed up with biologists from the University of California to foster innovation surrounding the impact of climate change.

The record-setting drought in California has killed over 60 million trees over the past few years leaving scientists concerned on how these die-offs will impact the Sierra Nevada Mountains, particularly the stands of iconic giant sequoia trees.


Parrot will use drone technology to measure and monitor forestry ecosystems. Drones, with their new on-board Sequoia sensory packages are powerful new tools for scanning single trees and looking at an entire forest. The Sequoia sensor provides better precision than satellite imagery and higher flexibility than manned aircraft solutions in reporting plant conditions.

Climbing trees with ropes and harnesses is dangerous and time-consuming. The research team on the project is comparing how much canopy data can be captured quickly and safely using drone imagery, relative to the days and weeks it takes canopy scientists now to map the trees by hand.

To help foster further innovation surrounding the impact of climate change, Parrot has announced a Climate Innovation Grant program. The programs consists of an award of hardware and software with Parrot providing the Parrot Sequoia multispectral sensor, Pix4D software licenses and training to successful proposals. Proposals should include a geographical/mapping component using UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle – drone) and Pix4D software, as well as multispectral imagery related to the technical capabilities of the Parrot Sequoia sensor.

The program is open to students and researchers from across the globe from a range of disciplines from archaeology to zoology. Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2017.

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