Earth  ID: 13090

GEDI Media Resources

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) uses laser pulses to give a view of the 3D structure of the Earth. GEDI’s precise measurements of the height and vertical structure of forest canopy, along with the surface elevation, will greatly advance our ability to characterize important carbon and water cycling processes, biodiversity, and habitat. The mission is led by the University of Maryland, College Park, and the instrument was built and tested at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

GEDI observes nearly all tropical and temperate forests using a self-contained laser altimeter on the International Space Station. GEDI has the highest resolution and densest sampling of any lidar ever put in orbit. This has required a number of innovative technologies to be developed at NASA Goddard.

GEDI has three lasers that produce 8 parallel tracks of observations. Each laser fires 242 times per second and illuminates a 25-meter footprint on the surface over which 3D structure is measured. Each footprint is separated by 60 meters along the track, with an across-track distance of about 600 m between each of the 8 tracks. GEDI is expected to produce about 10 billion cloud-free observations during its nominal 24-month mission length.

With these observations, GEDI will provide answers to how deforestation has contributed to atmospheric CO2 concentrations, how much carbon forests will absorb in the future, and how habitat degradation will affect global biodiversity. This data is of immense value for forest and water resource management, carbon cycle science, and weather prediction.

For more information about GEDI:



Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA):
Lead Producer

Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems Inc.):
Technical Support

John Caldwell (AIMM):

Kate Ramsayer (Telophase Corp.):

Walt Feimer (KBRwyle):

Lisa Poje (Freelance):

Bryan Blair (NASA/GSFC):

Ralph Dubayah (University of Maryland):

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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DLESE >> Biology
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Vegetation >> Biomass
SVS >> Biosphere >> Forestry
NASA Science >> Earth
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Spectral/engineering >> Lidar

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version