Airborne Data

Airborne remote sensing flight campaigns are designed to collect quantitative information on land cover and changes to ecological structure and chemistry, including the presence and effects of invasive species across landscapes 100-300km2 surrounding NEON sites. Learn more about NEON's Airborne Remote Sensing Platorm and airborne remote sensing collection methods or read to learn more about how to request airborne data.

Airborne data types include:

Lidar Data

  • DSM (Digital Surface Model; full mosaic)
  • DTM (Digital Terrain Model; full mosaic)
  • CHM (Canopy Height Model; full mosaic)
  • Slope and Aspect (full mosaics)
  • Classified point clouds (points classified as ground, building, vegetation, and unclassified; 1 km2 tiles)
  • Unclassified point clouds (points by flight line)
  • KML (site and flight line boundaries)
  • Full waveform data

Partial suite of Hyperspectral Data

  • Surface reflectance, recorded across 426 narrow spectral bands extending from 380 to 2510 nm with a spectral sampling of five nm. Vegetation indices including NDVI, EVI, ARVI, Xanthophyll, Lignin, fPAR (fractional Photosynthetically Active Radiation) and LAI (Leaf Area Index)

Camera Data

  • Orthorectified digital photographs
  • Camera mosaic

Field Data

  • ASD Spectral Data

Since these data were collected as part of Engineering Flight Campaigns, they are considered "engineering quality" and may not have sufficient QA/QC to meet all users' needs.


2016 Camera Metadata

We've generated kml files that include lower resolution camera data from a subset of 2016 field site surveys. Looking at these files in Google Earth can help data users 1) better understand the extent of our flight surveys, 2) quickly view flight conditions for available data and 3) see a visual index of camera image IDs.


Sample of Airborne Data

These sample data represent a 250 x 250 m square area which encompasses a single field plot from SJER - San Joaquin Experimental Range in the Pacific Southwest (D17). The sample includes all AOP products which are currently available.


Fill out this Airborne Data Request Form

Review the list below of data that are currently available upon request. Please note that this list is updated periodically throughout the year with new data.


Current list of available data

D01 Northeast

Massachusetts & New Hampshire
Flights: May 29-June, 2014; August 18-30, 2016

NEON field sites:

Products available:

  • Lidar (2014, 2016)
  • Hyperspectral
  • Camera data (2014, 2016)
  • Field data (2014)

Additional prototype datasets:

  • Sawmill Brook Conservation Area (SAWB) for 2014 only.

D02 Mid-Atlantic

Maryland & Virginia
Flights: June - August, 2016

NEON field sites:

Products available:

  • Lidar
  • Camera data

D03 Southwest

Florida & Georgia
Flights: May 5-21, 2014; September 16 – October 3, 2016

NEON field sites: 

Products available:

  • Lidar (2014, 2016)
  • Hyperspectral
  • Camera data
  • Field data

D05 Great Lakes

Wisconsin
Flights: September 1 - 14, 2016

NEON field sites:

Products available:

  • Lidar
  • Camera data

D06 Prairie Peninsula

Kansas
Flights: July 11 - 17, 2016

NEON field sites:

Products available:

  • Lidar
  • Camera data

D07 Appalachians and Cumberland Plateau

Tennessee, North Carolina & Virginia
Flights: August 1-21, 2015; May 30 - June 24, 2016

NEON field sites:

Products available:

  • Lidar (2015, 2016)
  • Hyperspectral (2015)
  • Camera data (2015, 2016)
  • Field data (2015)

D08 Ozarks Complex

Alabama
Flights: July 21-26, 2015; April 30 - May 21, 2016

NEON field sites: 

Products available:

  • Lidar (2015, 2016)
  • Hyperspectral (2015)
  • Camera data (2015, 2016)

D09 Northern Plains

North Dakota
Flights: June 26 - July 09, 2016

NEON field sites surveyed: 

Products available:
  • Lidar

D10 Central Plains

Colorado
Flights: June 24-26, 2013

NEON field sites:

Additional prototype datasets:

  • D10: Boulder Pre-Flood and Post-Flood 2013

In September 2013, Boulder, CO experienced a seven day storm event which resulted in an accumulated rainfall greater than the yearly average: the unprecedented rainfall caused severe flooding and devastation across the northern Front Range of Colorado. Prior to the storm event, on June 26-27, 2013, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) conducted an airborne remote sensing survey of Boulder as part of yearly test flights. Shortly after the flood subsided, on October 8, 2013, NEON conducted a second airborne flight of the same area. Given the timing of the flights, the pre-flood and post-flood surveys present a distinct dataset that may be used to evaluate topographic change driven by a severe storm event. Learn more in the related update and/or the technical memo TM-006: NEON AOP Surveys of City of Boulder Pre and Post 2013 Flood Event.

D10: Boulder Riegl Survey 2015
In March of 2015, AOP conducted engineering surveys to test the newly acquired Riegl Q780 lidar sensor. As part of the test flights, a portion of the city of Boulder and front range was surveyed, which acquired both discrete and full-waveform lidar. The survey was conducted at a planned flight altitude of 1000 m (AGL), a 300 kHz PRR (pulse repetition frequency), and a full scan angle of 60 degrees. A discrete return point cloud, in LAS 1.3 format, was created with Riegl’s RiProcess software package and NEON L1 – L3 lidar products (classified point cloud, DSM, DTM, CHM, slope map, aspect map) were derived from the discrete return data. Riegl’s Riprocess also produces full waveform data in Pulsewaves format, which has been provided for testing and assessment by the user community.


D11 Southern Plains

Oklahoma & Texas
Flights: April 20-28, 2016

NEON field sites:

Products available:

  • Lidar
  • Camera data

Additional prototype datasets:

  • South Pond at KRRS

D17 Pacific Southwest

Central California in collaboration with NASA HyspIRI
Flights: June 9-13, 2013

NEON field sites surveyed:

Products available:

  • Lidar
  • Hyperspectral
  • Camera data
  • Field data

Additional prototype datasets: 

  • Providence Creek (PROV)

What is the AOP?

The NEON Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) is an aircraft platform carrying remote sensing instrumentation designed to achieve sub-meter to meter scale ground resolution, bridging scales from organisms and individual stands of vegetation to satellite-based remote sensing.

Since 2013, AOP has conducted a series of engineering flight campaigns at select NEON domains for the purpose of 1) testing the nominal data collection parameters for these sites; and 2) evaluating data processing techniques and obtain prototype datasets that support spatial/temporal scaling studies by the research community. The remote sensing data collected during these campaigns have been processed and several first level engineering data products are available for distribution.

Learn more about NEON's science design, spatiotemporal design and NEON airborne remote sensing collection methods. If you have questions or comments, please email the AOP team.