Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Estonian-Finnish vegetation remote sensing seminar

During the last four years, I've had several chances to visit my friends in Tartu. There have been courses, recreational trips, and like this time, scientific seminars. Tartu is a beautiful city and always worth a vist, even though getting there means way too early wake-ups and traveling well around the clock by foot, train, ferry, taxi, and bus. The world is just too far away from Joensuu.

This year the Estonian-Finnish vegetation remote sensing seminar started with two UAV presentations. It seems that these remotely controlled mini aircrafts will become very useful in small-scale remote sensing. Jouni and Juha from FGI even arranged a show flight with their helicopter just in front of the university main building, which attracted some interested audience also from passers-by. In a nearby park we found more space, so also an aerial group photo of the seminar participants could be taken.

Image by Juha Suomalainen

The seminar continued with radiative transfer session, which have always been a bit too physical to my understanding... But after the lunch there were several less theoretic but just as interesting presentations, including Mait's new method for hemispherical image analysis, Terhikki's winter LAI flights at Sodankylä, and also my own laser scanning stuff in a traditional Joensuu style. The day ended with an evening party with sauna, excellent fruit board, and lots of chocolate.

Next day I, Janne and Eeva visited Tartu observatory to participate in the calibration of our LAI camera. Determination of lens distortion and vignetting functions was done very carefully - actually I was quite stunned by the level of precision (=calculating individual photons) in which physicists can (and bother to) do these things. After that was done we had free time, and ended the night by celebrating Barcelona's UCL victory together with Tartu's seven Barca fans that crowded the streets at midnight. But the morning started with a long return back to normal routines: bus, taxi, ferry...

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