Because of the scale involved in forestry, both time and area, mathematics has always been heavily employed so foresters can take samples and calculate averages or make predictions on the growth or yield of their crop. With the advent of increasingly usable and accessible aerial remote sensing techniques, in particular UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology, it is becoming possible to greatly increase the size and speed of the samples that are taken and perhaps even generate 100% samples for stock-taking or growth modelling. However, it is not just the possibilities of increased sampling density in forest modelling, but also the range of applications that they can be used for, which is starting to arouse the interest of many industries.
In this paper some background into UAVs is given followed by a discussion about the benefits they can bring to the forest industry, and the range of applications that we can hope to deploy them in over the coming years. Legislation governing UAVs will also be touched on in an attempt to increase airspace awareness for those wishing to pursue this innovative technology.
Example of the tiny size of the latest UAVs in the form of the DJI Mavic Pro.
Download the Paper Published in NZIF Journal May 2017
UAV-Drones in Forestry - Reaching for a New Perspective - May 2017.pdf
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and remote image sensing cameras have considerable potential for use in pest control operations. UAVs equipped with remote sensing cameras could be flown over forests and remnant bush sites, particularly those not currently receiving any pest control, to record the unique
spectral signature of the vegetation and to detect the presence of possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and the damage they cause. UAVs could then be deployed to precisely distribute either toxins or kill traps to these identified locations.
Predator-free 2050 is an ambitious policy announced by the New Zealand Government where several pests, including possums, are to be eradicated by the year 2050. In order to achieve this goal, pests must be identified, targeted and controlled, requiring creative and novel ideas. UAVs provide flexibility, can fly in remote and difficult terrain, and are considerably cheaper to purchase and operate
than the planes and helicopters currently used in conventional aerial pest control operations. Current challenges associated with UAVs include payload capacity, battery limitations, weather, and flying restrictions.
However, these issues are rapidly being resolved with sophisticated technological advances and improved regulations. A directed and targeted approach using UAVs is an additional and novel tool in the pest management toolbox that could significantly reduce pest control costs, cover inaccessible areas not receiving
any pest management, and will help New Zealand advance towards its predator-free aspiration by 2050.
Interpine have partnered with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, to empower and expose their School of Forestry students to UAV / Drones and their potential.
Download the Article written by Craig Morley, James Broadley, Robin Hartley, David Herries, Duncan McMorran, Ian McLean.
Our UAV team making the #pulp #paper #industry more efficient through more timely #volumetric #stock takes with #Drones / #UAV.
"Use of UAV’s for quantifying our stock pile volumes has been a great step forward in a timely and more accurate process wood fibre management. Interpine have provided a innovative service that shows the usefulness of UAV’s in the forest industry” Richard Sherratt, Wood Supply Manager, OJI Fibre Solutions.
It been two years since we made this change and great to see it expanding to other sites around New Zealand.
Quietly amongst the Kaweka Ranges in Hawkes Bay the Kiwi can more often be heard. North Island Brown Kiwi to be exact with help from the Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd Kiwi Creche, located at the Boundary Stream Mainland Island Reserve, and the tireless efforts of a few hardy volunteers like Interpine's #UAV / #Drone pilot; Simon Bainbridge. It’s currently nesting season for the Kiwi and this time of year is busy for volunteers as day trips into the Kawekas are needed regularly... and this can often be any day of the week, to receive and analyse data given out by the small transmitters that are attached to the almost 50 Kiwi adult male birds monitored in the Forest Park. Each birds’ data in transmitted on a separate channel and once assessed a plan is made to raid the nests of these adult males in an attempt to capture the chick. The tiny transmitter gives out an array of data generated from an accelerometer, giving an indication of movement or feeding habits during the night. From the pulses sent via VHF it is possible to calculate when a male has begun nesting, and when that egg is due to hatch. Yes boys, in the Kiwi realm its the blokes who raise the young, whilst the girls go out and party. Ten days after a hatch is the ideal time to successfully catch a chick before it leaves the nest or becomes predated by mustelids. Finding a nest can be a time consuming exercise which is performed by way of direction finding the VHF signal given from the transmitter attached to the nesting males’ leg. It can be a 2-3 hour hike into the hills before receiving any signal, and then a further 2-3 hours tracking the origin of that signal using a simple radio receiver and “Yargi” antenna, but Simon appreciates how Interpine's #drones could help in this task in the future. If a chick is caught, they suffer the same fate as their father. They are taken to the Pan Pac Kiwi Creche where they are fitted with a transmitter and let free to roam and grow within the safety of the pest proof fence. Here they are monitored for health and weight gain until they reach 1 kilogram heavy. They are deemed big enough to fend off any attack by musetlids at a kilo and are released back into the Kawekas to continue the cycle. From here the birds have been known to live for 30 years and females can grow to around 7kg where their beaks remain sensitive, their claws sharp and legs are strong. Funding and support is provided by Department of Conservation, Pan Pac Forest Products Ltd and ECOED to help save the Kiwi in the Kaweka Kiwi Recovery Programme and fuelled by volunteers whom some of hug trees during the week, and Kiwi during the weekend.
Great to be presenting alongside the Scion rural fire research team at the annual Forest Growers Research Conference being held in Christchurch. With a field trip from the conference visiting the fire ground and together with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and PF Olsen Limited, the Interpine team presented the use of thermal drones being used on the Port Hills Complex fire during the summer of 2017. Working as a team during the fires, Scion Research were able to take the thermal IR hotspot data being provided by the DOC helicopter, and Interpine's thermal drones and model the fire threat and provide updates to the Incident Management Team to direct the fire attack. While firefighters were able to download maps via QR Codes and use them directly on the fire ground during suppression activity.
Interpine is continuing to provide a pathway for the adoption and wider deployment of #DJI #MavicPro #Phantom4 #UAV / #Drones, RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) to be a regular tool being used by our field foresters with our Forest #Industry here in New Zealand. This course allows you to get your UAV Civil Aviation Authority CAR 101 wings badge and certification together with basic flight competence and craft knowledge for ongoing maintenance. This Drone / RPAS / UAV course is run together with our Partners at Massey University School of Aviation.
After successfully completing this course you will:
- Basic flight competence, including operation and maintenance of DJI Phantom / Mavic / Spark type RPAS systems
- Task training at RPAS level 1 operator competence (basic flight of small pro-consumer grade RPAS as a camera on a pole for inspection and observation work).
- Interpret the various aviation documents and regulations and be able to apply these to your operation
- Be able to identify threats to your operation and develop methods of mitigation
- Understand the conduct required to operate an RPAS in accordance with aviation best practice
- Practice and comprehend aircraft radio telephony procedures and operations
- Completion of CAA RPAS Multi-rotor Pilot Competence Certification "RPAS Wings Badge"
- Submit as evidence of training from a Part 141-M6 training organisation for an RPAS Part 102 Operator Certificate
The course is led by Interpine and Massey University flight instructors. You will be assessed via a series of multi-choice and short answer questions, and flight testing using DJI mutli-rotor craft.
Why do you need this course?
The course is designed to get participants really thinking about RPAS / Drones in the airspace environment, awareness of other airspace users and most of all – safety, risk and best practices in the roll-out of drone technology within the forest industry and rural fire sectors. Whether your just managing company policy around drone implementation or a supervisor / harvest contractor wanting to get started using drones this course will ensure you get started on the right foot.
If your interested in future courses this year contact our team.
Course Date: 11-15 Dec 2017
Course Location: Rotorua
Course Costs: $2610 + GST for all 5 days including certification costs and lunches.
In conjunction with the ForestTECH 2017 series this year, Interpine will be running a LiDAR Analysis workshop the day after each event – Friday 17 November, Rotorua and in Melbourne, Thursday 23 November. It will teach delegates how to manipulate, process and visualize LiDAR datasets, with a specific focus on forestry derived forestry outputs. These include terrain, vegetation surfaces and forest yield related metrics.
In New Zealand, the course includes hands-on labs and presentations and will be held at the computer facility at Toi Ohomai in Rotorua.
In Australia, participants will bring along their own computers. The workshop will be run at the ForestTECH 2017 conference venue in Melbourne.
Dr. Martin Isenburg (rapidlasso LAStools developer) and the Interpine Team (David Herries, Susana Gonzalez and Sarah Pitcher-Campbell).
Rotorua: Friday 17 November
Melbourne: Thursday 23 November
ROTOUA, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, O Block (Forestry Building Computer Lab)
Melbourne, ForestTech Conference Venue
$350+GST per person.
Lunch and morning teas provided.
- Overview of LiDAR
- Collection parameters and technology, how to plan for LiDAR Acquisition.
- Brief Introduction to Exploring LiDAR and software tools available to make it easier.
- Creating datasets for the engineering team
- Understanding canopy height models
- Managing, Publishing and Visualising LiDAR across your organisation
- Portals and Publishing BigData, a look at the options and workflows.
- Calculating Forest Yield using Plot Imputation
- Understanding Forest Yield calcuation using LiDAR reference plot inventories. You know have LiDAR yield tables, what and how to take the next step and start using them.
- Worked examples using end user tools for foresters to managing forest yield tables created through LiDAR.
Please complete the following form to register for the course:
Click Here to Access: Online Registration Form
Our Remote Sensing team are constantly immersing ourselves in 3D modelling from our rich #LiDAR datasets. #3Dprinting technology brings this from the screen to the table. Meet our miniature model of White Island Volcano in New Zealand. Getting #LiDAR data adopted is not always about viewing the data, what about touching it! How could this change the way you manage forest operations and health and safety? Would it help in planning, or at least to understand the detail in the datasets which are available? Opening new opportunities for its use?
The Interpine #UAV #Drone continue to innovate around the use of structure from motion 3D modelling. In this case we show some examples of modelling tree structure and resulting stem volume / form, which are important in the forest yield modelling calculations. Doing this type of trial / study work was either time consuming or difficult to operationally do in a effective manner. And hence interrupt or hamper production forest harvesting operations. Sometimes it is hard for foresters to realise these are not just pictures, but are detailed 3D models.
Rise of the #forest #drones; Interpine's UAV team leader spoke recently at the FIEA HarvestTech 2017 conference in Rotorua. With of 450 delegates hearing about operational implementation and future opportunities that will see improvements in the way harvest contractors manage safety, training, and monitor / improve productivity using drone technology. Robin Hartley talked about the adoption pathways and best practice for the uptake of the drone technology, while also reviewing case study work that has been conducted by the Interpine Innovation team across New Zealand.