by Vasily SUKHIKH, Vasily ZHIRIN, Drs. Sc. (Agr.), RAS Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity (Moscow)
About 25 percent of all forests on the Earth are located in Russia.
Their biosphere functions in many ways determine quality of life on our planet. National timber resources are also that huge.
Under efficient utilization, this wealth could become a reliable basis for economic might of our country.
But if we want to achieve a desired forestry management level, first of all, it is necessary to collect objective data on its state, negative and positive processes related to it and to make accurate forecasts.
Overland studies and aerial photography carried out since the 1920s do not give adequate information. Modern space technologies are nowadays replacing traditional methods.
QUALITY INFORMATION IS A CONDITION OF SUCCESS
Broad-scale research works to study natural resources from outer space commenced in 1972 in the USSR*. In the 1970s-1980s specialists of the research division of the All-Union Amalgamation "Lesproekt" (Moscow), the Leningrad Scientific-Research Institute of Forestry and Institute of Forest and Timber named after V. Sukachev of the RAS Siberian Branch carried out comprehensive theoretical and practical studies of the forest as an object of remote sensing. They developed methods of decoding data of space surveys, inclusive of automatized ones, in the geographic information system medium, and substantiated the requirements to conditions and methods of surveys depending on assigned tasks. At the same time scientists estimated the role of these surveys for the actual and prospective monitoring system. They (including the authors of this article) improved outdated and offered more
* See: V. Senkevich, "Russian Space Research at the Turn of Centuries", Science in Russia, No. 1, 2001. - Ed.
effective technologies of forest inventory and estimation of their state on th ... Read more