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CLASlite Science

CLASlite is the result of more than a decade of biophysical remote sensing research and fieldwork that provides an automated satellite mapping approach to determine one of the most important components of tropical forest structure: fractional cover of vegetation canopies, dead vegetation, and bare surfaces. These fractional covers are core determinants of ecosystem composition, structure, and biomass.  They are also the most sensitive approach available for detecting deforestation, forest degradation and secondary regrowth in forests using satellite imagery.

CLASlite Processing Flowchart


The fractional cover analysis method that lies at the heart of the approach -- called Automated Monte Carlo Unmixing or AutoMCU -- makes CLASlite a powerful, stable, fully automated, and biophysically-grounded method that allows rapid forest monitoring with error tracking.  The AutoMCU approach requires no ground calibration.


CLASlite's AutoMCU Core Module

For more on the scientific basis for CLASlite, see the Carnegie publications page.