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Large Scale Mapping of the Tree Canopy - 1 Year Funded MPhil


Project Description

Project Ref: LIH060

Background

In this exciting project, the partners propose to design a system for developing of a large scale mapping of tree canopies. 2Excel geo has developed a number of case studies on the classification of tree species and the assessment of tree health. However, efficient implementation of these and other tree-related services initially requires the mapping of individual trees. This includes non-woodland trees, e.g. roadside trees, since these often pose an increased risk to people and infrastructure. A complete knowledge of tree canopy, including woodland and non-woodland trees, will enable the targeting of ground and remote sensing resources to obtain additional information.

The Project

Satellite sources and airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) potentially offer a cost-effective and readily updatable means of mapping tree canopy at large scale. This project will assess tree canopies using both optical and SAR sensors using the most suitable platforms. The performance of these techniques will be assessed both using statistical accuracy metrics (e.g. commission and omission errors) and the future cost of deployment of the technique. 2Excel geo will support the project via:

- The collection of airborne SAR imagery and high-resolution photography (for validation): end-user engagement to understand output formats and delivery mechanisms;
- Assistance in the development of a delivery/demonstration platform.

Key deliverables will include a validated methodology with options to licence executable software/source code as well a tree canopy map of a significant area(s) of England with associated performance metrics.

Your input over the duration of the project can be divided in 5 different stages:
- Literature review
- Collation of data
- Algorithm development
- Operational evaluation
- Reporting

You will work closely with the sponsoring Leicester based partner and University of Leicester. Supervision will be provided by Professor Heiko Balzter and Dr Kirsten Barrett.

Full project and entry criteria can be found at:
https://www2.le.ac.uk/research-degrees/funding/scieng/LIH060MPhilGeog.pdf

Entry requirements

Qualifications:
• Bachelor Degree with at least a UK 2.1 in Physical Geography, Environmental Science or a related discipline
• Demonstrable experience in remote sensing and image processing, ideally including SAR data
• University English language requirements: https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/entry-reqs/eng-lang-reqs

How to apply

You should submit your application using our online application system: https://www2.le.ac.uk/research-degrees/phd/applyphd

Apply for a Geography Research.

In the funding section of the application please indicate you wish to be considered for a ERDF MPhil project.

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisor and project you want to be considered for.

In the Personal Statement section - please indicate clearly why you are interested in undertaking this research project and why you are the best candidate to help deliver the project objectives.

In the Research Proposal Section please state: Applying for MPhil Project Ref: LIH060, no proposal required.

For informal enquiries about technical aspects of this Industrial MPhil please contact Professor Heiko Balzter: . Please contact Jenny Hollis () for more information about the Leicester Innovation Hub.

Closing date for applications - open until filled.

Funding Notes

The University of Leicester pays a monthly stipend of £1,166.67 (total Stipend £14,000) in arears to the student. The funding will be strictly limited to 12 months. Tuition Fees are paid at UK/EU rates for 1 year.

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