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– Lund University Mobile Biosphere Observatory
LUMBO is a research platform primarily intended for quantitatively monitoring the earth atmospheric fauna. The observatory can be deployed by truck in various field locations. The techniques employed are based on fast electro optics from the fields of remote sensing and stand-off detection. We exploit electromagnetic radiation scattered from the atmospheric fauna within the optical region and are constrained mainly by the atmospheric transmission in the range 0.2-20 μm. We detect either moonlight, scattered sunlight, thermal emission or scattered laser emission. LUMBO typically operates in ranges between 0.1 km to 10 km, clear sky and line of sight is generally required.

How is LUMBO made?

LUMBO in sunset
Photo: Mikkel Brydegaard

In contrast to traditional laser radar observatories the construction of LUMBO is based on the concept of realistic instrumentation. This approach insures simplicity of use and low material costs. LUMBO is based on commercial available amateur astronomy components, compact USB detectors at room temperature or electrically cooled. Laser sources are compact inexpensive continuous wave laser diodes or shoebox sized turn-key fiber coupled pulsed sources.


All optical instrumentation is mounted on directly in the image plane of any of the telescopes using standard plug in adaptors. The telescope array currently consists of 5 tubes and are carried by a 100kg capacity altitude-azimuth mount from Astrosysteme Austria. The mount and pear is installed in a weatherproof automated dome from ScopeDome. Both the dome and an office modulde is mounted on a hook-lift-frame, which is deployable by standard trucks.


What is LUMBO good for?

Remotely identifying naturally occurring species, genders and age groups in confined air volumes allows several new forms of analysis: We can produce spatial resolved abundance measurements of species, e.g. in relation to ground topology. We can relate fauna activity to temperature and wind speeds. We can measure the biomass spectrum non-intrusively. By marking and releasing individuals we can assess dispersal rates on landscape scales.

Lumbo telescope battery
Fast detection in the kHz range allows instantaneous assessment of flight direction. The motorized telescope mount allows automated tracking of single individual’s flight trajectories on kilometer scales. By time-lag correlation of occurrences of different species or genders in the same air volume fauna interaction strengths and kinetics can be determined; this can be in relation to e.g. territorial behavior, mating or predation mechanisms.
Page Manager:

Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden