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NASA picks UMd. for space station project

COLLEGE PARK — NASA has chosen a University of Maryland proposal for a new instrument to observe changes in global vegetation from the International Space Station.

NASA announced Wednesday that the laser-based system will observe the structure of forest canopy. The instrument will be completed in 2019 and will not cost more than $94 million. NASA says sensors will give scientists new ways to see how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate or land use change.

It is one of two projects that were announced by NASA. The other is a high-resolution multiple wavelength imaging spectrometer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It will study the effectiveness of water use by vegetation.

The instruments were competitively selected from 20 proposals submitted to NASA’s Earth Venture Investment program.

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