News

Ekhtari Defends Ph.D. Dissertation
November 27, 2018
Ph.D. candidate Nima Ekhtari defended his dissertation titled, "Land Cover and Impervious Surface Mapping Using Multispectral Airborne Laser Scanner Data." High-resolution, multispectral (...
Ekhtari Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Ph.D. candidate Nima Ekhtari defended his dissertation titled, "Land Cover and Impervious Surface Mapping Using Multispectral Airborne Laser Scanner Data." High-resolution, multispectral (multiwavelength) laser scanner data were used to classify land cover, using machine learning, into diverse classes for impervious surface mapping and urban change studies. The dissertation proposes two methods to mitigate the influence of multi-echo effect on the spectral information of ALS returns. Hybrid intensity correction schemes were also devised and tested to improve classification accuracy. The final impervious surface map showed that the approach had higher accuracies compared to a similar map created from a hyperspectral passive imager, demonstrating the advantage of multispectral ALS data for automated, high-accuracy, high-resolution impervious surface mapping.

Nima’s Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) advisor was Dr. Craig Glennie. He is currently working at CobbFendley & Associates as a GIS Analyst. Congratulations, Nima!

Beloved Friend and Colleague Passes Away
November 6, 2018
Faculty, staff, and students at University of Houston’s National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Laura Ann Murphy. Laura was...
Laura Ann Murphy

Faculty, staff, and students at University of Houston’s National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Laura Ann Murphy. Laura was not only essential to our day-to-day research and teaching efforts, but she went above and beyond to ensure that we were happy and doing well. From a simple M&M dispenser that she kept at her desk so we had a sweet moment when we stopped to talk to her, to her famous pineapple upside-down cake and Irish beef and Guinness stew that she often prepared for our pot-lucks or celebrations, to the many lunches, dinners, and outings she organized for staff, students, and visitors, to the unforgettable moments she delighted and entertained us through singing, she has left us with countless memories. Laura was not only special and caring to the people she knew, but she was kind and helpful to those in need that she did not know. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last year, she was one of the first people to organize food, clothing, and supplies collection and delivery for her immediate and city-wide neighbors.

We have lost not only a coworker, but we have lost an important part of our collective spirit. We are certain that she would like us to keep moving forward, to continue to do good for science and our communities, and to put a smile on our friends’, families’, and neighbors’ faces. As we miss her, we also celebrate her life, her accomplishments, and the joy and positive examples she brought to our lives. Below we share photos of a few of these special moments with which she enriched our lives.

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Beyond Archaeology: NCALM Pursues New Technology, New Projects
September 20, 2018
Lidar Mapping Has Also Yielded Other Earth Science Discoveries   The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping is best-known for its headline-grabbing work in archeology – the 2016...
Researchers with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping used the center's lidar-equipped plane to map the permafrost in Antarctica.

Lidar Mapping Has Also Yielded Other Earth Science Discoveries

 

The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping is best-known for its headline-grabbing work in archeology – the 2016 discovery of previously unknown ruins of a complex Maya settlement in the Guatemalan jungles, undocumented settlements from an ancient civilization in Honduras uncovered in 2012, and detailed mapping of more than a dozen other settlements in Mexico and Central America.

NCALM Invites Seed Project Proposals from Graduate Students
September 12, 2018
The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping invites proposals from graduate students seeking airborne lidar data (up to 40 km2) for use in research toward an M.S. or Ph.D. degree. For...
NCALM Invites Seed Project Proposals from Graduate Students

The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping invites proposals from graduate students seeking airborne lidar data (up to 40 km2) for use in research toward an M.S. or Ph.D. degree. For background information and a complete guideline for submitting a proposal, see the Seed Proposals and Format Guidelines pages. The proposal submission period is Thursday, September 13–Thursday, December 20, 2018. For more information, contact ncalm [at] egr.uh.edu (subject: Seed%20Project%20Proposal%20Information) or call (832) 842-8881.

Three New NCALM Datasets Released by OpenTopography
September 6, 2018
Three new datasets have been released by OpenTopography. The data were collected using an Optech Titan multispectral lidar and cover more than 270 km2. The projects' PIs were student seed...
Three New NCALM Datasets Released by OpenTopography

Three new datasets have been released by OpenTopography. The data were collected using an Optech Titan multispectral lidar and cover more than 270 km2. The projects' PIs were student seed proposal winners. Read more at opentopography.org.

UH Student Earns Top National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship
August 17, 2018
Research Soaring to New Heights on the Tails of NASA Satellites   Andrea Albright, a graduate student in the Cullen College of Engineering’s geosensing systems engineering and sciences...
Andrea Albright, a UH grad student, is a 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellow.

Research Soaring to New Heights on the Tails of NASA Satellites

 

Andrea Albright, a graduate student in the Cullen College of Engineering’s geosensing systems engineering and sciences program, won a 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. She is among 69 U.S. fellows chosen from more than 3,600 applicants.

Mission: Possible — Mapping Dangerous Terrain
August 8, 2018
UH Engineers Focus on Degradable Reconnaissance Vehicles and Evasive Drone Maneuvers   Ensuring military forces have up-to-date information about a potentially hostile region offers...
UH researchers are testing prototypes for the project in Brays Bayou.

UH Engineers Focus on Degradable Reconnaissance Vehicles and Evasive Drone Maneuvers

 

Ensuring military forces have up-to-date information about a potentially hostile region offers obvious advantages, but current methods for doing that – especially along shorelines, where underwater mines and other hazards can pose serious risks – all have drawbacks. It is especially difficult if keeping the technology out of enemy hands is a priority.

NCALM Announces 2019 Mexico and Central America Airborne Lidar Collection Campaign
August 1, 2018
Mexico and Central America Airborne Lidar Collection Campaign for Small- and Medium-Sized Projects The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) is announcing a call for...
NCALM Announces 2019 Mexico and Central America Airborne Lidar Collection Campaign

Mexico and Central America Airborne Lidar Collection Campaign for Small- and Medium-Sized Projects

The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) is announcing a call for expressions of interest from researchers with small- to medium-sized projects and budgets in Mexico and Central America for Spring 2019 (March–May), including but not limited to archaeology, geology, and ecology. In the past two years, NCALM has received several inquiries from individual researchers with small projects in Mexico and Central America. The size of these projects, and their associated budgets, make them economically and practically unfeasible if considered individually. However, if several small projects within a given country or region are grouped together, in such a way that the mobilization costs can be proportionately distributed among the multiple projects, we believe it is possible to survey the small projects and bring large benefits to the broader community.

Currently, NCALM has received expressions of interest for small areas in central and south Belize, the Campeche/Tabasco/Chiapas, Mexico, border with Peten, Guatemala, near San Salvador, El Salvador, and the Caribbean coast of Honduras. We are looking for additional projects to complement these sites. The smallest individual project budget that NCALM will consider is $10,000 (USD), which can potentially yield data collections of 10 km2, depending on collection density, distance to airports, and other neighboring projects. The exact coverage will be determined based on analysis of the these and other factors. If you have interest in participating in a community collection campaign, please send a short description of your project, including potential budget and a KMZ with an outline of your area(s) of interest. (The size and shape will be iteratively refined jointly after adjusting for budget, research objectives, and neighboring projects.)

Please contact us if you require more information about this community campaign, and please forward this announcement to other researchers that may have an interest in such data collection. The more projects we can organize together, the larger the areas we will be able to collect for individual projects. NCALM aims to begin data collection in March–May 2019. We will begin requesting permits to fly and collect data for the respective countries near the end of 2018.

For more information, contact NCALM Director Ramesh L. Shrestha at rshrest2 [at] central.uh.edu (subject: Mexico%20and%20Central%20America%20Lidar%20Campaign) (budgets) and Juan Carlos Fernandez Diaz at jfernan4 [at] central.uh.edu (subject: Mexico%20and%20Central%20America%20Lidar%20Campaign) (scheduling, logistics, permitting).

Clarifying notes:

    NCALM is not providing the budget or funds to perform mapping, but rather organizing a campaign to optimize the funds researchers currently have, or can obtain, for their small- or medium-sized projects. If you are interested in pursuing cooperative work, please send NCALM a response that includes a KMZ(s) of your study area, a one-to-two paragraph description of you research objectives, and a budget of your potentially available funds. NCALM will work with PIs to develop a plan to allow data collection in their focus area(s). Additionally, please provide NCALM with information regarding contacts that you have in the foreign country (and locale) of interest and current work permits that you have obtained. Depending on the country, NCALM is required to have varying permits to perform flights or work in specific areas.

Deadlines:

    NCALM is requesting a preliminary commitment by Friday, November 2, 2018, so we can begin the paperwork and preparation of export licenses and permits to the various countries. A final commitment and confirmation of funds will be requested by Friday, March 1, 2019, so the mapping campaign can executed during March–May 2019.
Houstonia Magazine Highlights Unique UH Research Center
May 4, 2018
Researchers Use Technology to Revolutionize Archaeology   In an article titled “This UH Research Center is Revolutionizing Archaeology,” Houstonia magazine shines the spotlight on...
 National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping/University of Houston

Researchers Use Technology to Revolutionize Archaeology

 

In an article titled “This UH Research Center is Revolutionizing Archaeology,” Houstonia magazine shines the spotlight on University of Houston’s National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) and its director, Ramesh Shrestha. The two are responsible for unearthing archaeological treasures hidden for centuries.

New Ph.D. Student Opportunities in Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences
April 17, 2018
The Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate research program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston, in conjunction...
New Ph.D. Student Opportunities in Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences

The Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate research program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston, in conjunction with the NSF National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), is seeking qualified applicants (with backgrounds in engineering, geomatics, geosciences, physics, astronomy, computer sciences, or geography) interested in: Design, development, and testing of lidar, digital image, and hyperspectral sensors; Research applications of lidar observations, including when combined with digital imagery or hyperspectral measurements; Study of satellite altimetry for applications in hydrology, glaciology, geodynamics, and sea levels; Applications of terrestrial laser scanning, airborne lidar, and GPS in natural hazards studies and mitigation; and Applications of airborne remote sensing techniques in geomorphology, climate/weather studies, hydrology, and tectonics. Please visit: ncalm.cive.uh.edu/gses/geosensing, for more information.

The application process and forms can be found on the Civil & Environmental Engineering website. Interested students can contact Dr. Craig Glennie at: clglennie [at] uh.edu (subject: Ph.D.%20Student%20Opportunity) .

Deadline: September 1st, 2018

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