Walking on the top branches of the canopy, staying as long as one wants, listening to the sounds of the forest, on one’s own, at night, far from everything else, setting insect traps one night and collecting them the next day… it has all become possible thanks to a very simple device: the Canopy Bubble. The Canopy Bubble is a light and mobile canopy observation post.
The Canopy Bubble, like the Canopy Raft Project, was created in the spirit of innovating and diversifying canopy research techniques from the top down. During recent missions, the Canopy Bubble exceeded our expectations. Numerous researchers were able to test it and develop research projects in keeping with its characteristics and capacities.
The Canopy Bubble is a helium balloon measuring 210m³ and 7.4m in diameter, with room for one person and their equipment. The Bubble slides along a 1 to 2 kilometre long cord previously installed by airship or a small motored hot-air balloon or helicopter, or by climbers specialized in canopy research.
This cord starts at the base camp and runs through the canopy, alongside emerging trees. An Icos* can be a crossing point, a bifurcation or the terminus of that canopy route.
The Canopy Bubble allows a researcher to remain in contact with the canopy during two or three hours in the morning, evening or at night. The passenger can move along the rope simply by pulling him or herself along the rope by hand or with a jumar clamp in case of adverse wind. A secondary rope attached to the main rope enables a researcher to cover greater distances away from the main rope and thus increases the field of investigation.
While moving through the canopy, the researcher can stop as long as needed to carry out his or her experiments (observations, harvesting, setting insect traps, conducting analyses, filming or taking photographs), with very little manoeuvring.
A double envelop, 210m³.
A seat equipped with a VHF radio, security equipment, a jumar clamp, storage pockets.
One or several ropes, approximately 1 km long ( 8 or 9 mm in diameter).
Helium, 220 m³ or approximately 22 to 30 bottles.