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— Aircraft

Quadcopter and unmanned helicopter could work together to fight forest fires

You've gotta hand it to Kaman's K-MAX UAS unmanned helicopter ... it's been used to deliver cargo in a combat zone, it's set altitude and payload weight records for airdrops, and it's been part of an autonomous air/ground mission. Now it's teamed up with a quadcopter in an exercise which suggests that the two could be used to fight forest fires, without endangering human pilots. Read More
— Space

NASA probe will reveal 3D architecture of forests from space

NASA is developing a laser-based instrument for deployment on the International Space Station that will probe the depths of Earth's forests from space in a bid to reveal more about their role in the planet's carbon cycle. After its completion in 2018, this Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar will join the likes of the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite in studying Earth's vegetation on a global scale. Read More

ColorPhase camo changes color with the season

Unlike camouflage clothing, the forest doesn't stay the same color year-round. This means that if hunters are really serious about blending in, they have to buy both green and brown camo ... unless, apparently, they're wearing Cabela's new color-changing ColorPhase apparel. Read More
— Environment

The trees have ears: Automating wildlife detection in the tropics

The tropical ecosystems of Costa Rica and Puerto Rico have ears, and have done for some time. These recording stations were put together with iPods and car batteries which each record 144 60-second recordings every day, and transmit them to a web-enabled base station up to 40 km (25 miles) away. From there they're uploaded to a web app with which biologists train a software algorithm to recognize the chirrups, squeaks and caterwauls of the forest's birds, monkeys, frogs and other fauna. It's all in the name of documenting wildlife, to better understand the effects of deforestation and climate change. And according to scientists at the University of Puerto Rico, it sure beats putting boots on the ground. Read More
— Holiday Destinations

Thai resort features tree pod dining

Tree Pod dining could easily become one of the most novel ways to enjoy a romantic dinner or a long lazy lunch among the tree tops ... and that’s exactly what guests at the Six Senses’ Soneva Kiri will be doing. Located on the remote Thai island of Kood, Soneva Kiri is a luxury holiday destination set amid the lush tropical rainforests off the south-east coast of the Gulf of Siam. While the resort offers guests an array of dining experiences and resort activities, we just love the look of the tree pod dining. Read More