TM-005: The NEON 2013 Airborne Campaign at Domain 17 Terrestrial and Aquatic Sites in California

Publication Type:
NEON Technical Memorandum Series, NEON, Number TM-005, Boulder (2013)

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) conducted a series of airborne remote sensing surveys and supporting ground measurements in June 2013 at three NEON terrestrial sites and one NEON aquatic site located in NEON Domain 17 (Pacific Southwest) in California. These sites extend over diverse ecological regions and climate and elevation gradients ranging from open woodland at 200 to 520 m elevation dominated by oaks (blue and interior live oaks) and digger pine in the San Joaquin Experiment Range (NEON core site) to mixed conifer/deciduous forest at 1100 m elevation at the Soaproot Saddle relocatable site, red fir dominated forest at elevations of 1775 to 3038 m at the Teakettle relocatable site, and mid-to-high elevation mixed-conifer riparian forest between 1500 and 2120 m elevation at the Providence Creek aquatic site. The primary objectives of the combined airborne and field campaign were to test the nominal data collection parameters for these sites, evaluate data processing techniques, and obtain an initial data set that supports spatial/temporal scaling studies currently underway as part of the NASA HyspIRI Preparatory Airborne Project. Airborne remote sensing measurements were made using the full NEON Airborne Observatory Platform instrument payload (AOP-1), which includes a high-resolution NEON imaging spectrometer (NIS), a small-footprint waveform-recording LiDAR and a high-resolution digital camera integrated onboard a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. Supporting ground measurements of vegetation spectra and structure, plant species identification and measurements of key atmospheric variables were made in conjunction with the NEON airborne observations at San Joaquin and Soaproot Saddle and in collaboration with field research teams from the University of California, Davis, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Rochester Institute of Technology. NEON’s airborne observations of Soaproot Saddle were also coincident with the airborne observations of the western Sierra Nevada Mountains made by NASA JPL using the AVIRIS-classic instrument onboard an ER-2, and field measurements acquired to support the ongoing NASA Ecological Spectral Information System (EcoSIS) Project.

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