An aerial view: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for Forestry Operations

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“A pixel is worth 1024 bits”! Captured from the right perspective, every forest manager now sees aerial images as essential in their toolkit!

Converting the data bits from a drone or a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) to actionable information bytes for supporting forest operations had been the journey FPInnovations took over the last 6 years. The objective was to assess whether RPASs (mostly multi-rotors) represented a suitable platform for forestry operations and whether their use provided added value to various applications.

Different types of RPASs and miniaturised sensors were tested within the forestry environment. Their data accuracy, substitution or supplement to the land inventory, costs and best practices were all documented.

Overall, results showed multi-rotor RPASs are an efficient, low-cost option that produces accurate data for many applications. Battery endurance, sensor quality and data analysis tools are key challenges for the technology.

Click here for full results (Treefrog)

Image Credit: FLIR

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