Recent lab activities
First trial of 3-D printing...
We assembled a DIY-set of 3-D printer and tested its functionality recently. The first printed stuff was a level-adjustable base for mounting quantum sensors. This base is composed of three parts, which were designed in Google SketchUp and individually printed. This home-made base works better than the purchased one for mounting quantum sensors in our automated leaf chambers.
Canopy LAI photography using UAV
Canopy structure, especially the leaf area index (LAI), has strong influence on ecosystem processes e.g. photosynthesis and transpiration. A commonly used method to monitor the seasonal pattern of LAI is the hemispherical photography using fisheye lens. We are testing a new approach by mounting a small-size sport camera (Nikon KeyMission 360) atop a 4-axis drone such that the canopy pictures could be taken in a more economic way.
In the test flights in campus, we flew the drone (DJI Phantom 4 Pro) through plantations in a fixed speed of 1 km/hr. The quality of the pictures was good enough for subsequent analysis. A comparison of the pictures with those taken by Nikon D7200 + Sigma 4.5 mm revealed similar values of calculated LAI.
Nature Catalysis 1, 32–39 (2018)
Scientists and engineers from German companies including Siemens have developed this high efficient CO2 electrolyser. This new technology can convert the troublesome greenhouse gas into butanol and hexanol.
09 January 2018
Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal wetlands. A recent study showed that the carbon concentration was almost the same for soil cores from around the US. The information may increase our understanding and prediction of global carbon storage.