The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission onboard the International Space Station (ISS) uses a three-LiDAR system to map global forest vertical structure. This information, compared with historical information on forest canopy structure and extent, helps to characterize and measure the effects of climate change and land use change on the above-ground biomass associated with forest cover.

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Disasters Applications

  • GEDI advances applications in a number of domains including water resource management, weather prediction, forest management, and geomorphometry. Precise height measurements of surface water, ice, vegetation, and the land surface can improve estimates of flood risk from storms, fresh-water supplies, forest resources, and can help identify priorities for biodiversity conservation. Altimetry data from GEDI can be used by scientists, modelers, resource managers, policy makers, and others to enhance our knowledge of natural resources and to promote their sustainable use. (
  • GEDI will help scientists create the first three-dimensional map of the world’s temperate and tropical forests. (
  • GEDI data will complement several NASA missions, including the upcoming joint NASA/Indian Space Research Organization Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission and NASA’s recently-launched Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission. GEDI data also will be incorporated with Landsat maps of vegetation change to provide high spatial resolution estimates of vegetation height and change in aboveground carbon stocks at annual to five-year time scales. The result will be some of the most accurate estimates of carbon emissions from deforestation. Additionally, GEDI lidar data will be incorporated with data from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) TanDEM-X SAR interferometry mission to produce wall-to-wall maps of canopy heights and other structure metrics.(