Light Sensors for Forest Canopies

Program Manager Nathan Daigle and Intern Seth Chartier

Over the summer of 2022, the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center worked on a project for the Terrestrial Ecosystems Analysis Lab which is a part of the Earth Systems Research Center at UNH. Jack Hastings, along with the PI of the lab, Dr. Scott Ollinger, have been working to prototype low-cost light sensors to deploy in forest canopies. They are interested in understanding how light is intercepted and moves through different tree species.

The sensor will measure what specific wavelengths of light are reaching the sensor at different times of the day. Olson Center intern, Seth Chartier, stepped in to build a prototype of the low-cost weatherproof sensor housing using our 3D printer. Eventually, Hastings wants to deploy many sensors in the forest to learn more about the quantity and quality of light received by trees.

Written by, Jesse Davis, class of 2025