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[Paper] UAVs for Forest Firefighting

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Robin Hartley, the UAV Team Leader for Interpine, spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on using UAVs for forest fire-fighting. In a collaboration between Interpine and Massey University School of Aviation in New Zealand, rural fire zone managers were trained to operate UAVs and tests were run to determine how effective that were in real-world conditions. UAVs were fitted with thermal cameras …

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NZ & Australia partnering leading satellite trial

In ForestTECH by FIEA

New Zealand will join Australia in a world-leading satellite technology test-bed, Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced. The New Zealand and Australian Governments will be partners in a two-year trial of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), and an associated programme of trials. SBAS is expected to improve air navigation, smartphone-based services, asset management and precision agriculture, and is expected to …

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[Video] The next manufacturing revolution is here

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Economic growth has been slowing for the past 50 years, but relief might come from an unexpected place — a new form of manufacturing that is neither what you thought it was nor where you thought it was. Industrial systems thinker Olivier Scalabre details how a fourth manufacturing revolution will produce a macroeconomic shift and boost employment, productivity and growth. …

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EHang 184 transport drone works

In ForestTECH by FIEA

While drones are already becoming an important tool for forest management, we are only just scratching the surface of what they will be able to do. At a major electronics show in the US, Chinese company EHang showed off a working model of the EHang 184, a huge personal transport drone. We hear in the news about autonomous cars and trucks …

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ForestTECH: a new communication tool for local foresters

In ForestTECH by FIEA

ForestTECH 2016 delegates in Rotorua and Melbourne late last year provided input to this new venture. Together with industry, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) plans to communicate much more regularly with local foresters and key suppliers to those involved in forest resource management. As well as annual technology gatherings, the ForestTECH website will now be used to provide the …

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Drone Data vs LIDAR: Misconceptions

In ForestTECH by FIEA

We frequently receive inquiries to provide “LIDAR data”, however there are a couple of things to clarify regarding these requests:

– Most often what people want is a 3D point cloud or Digital Elevation Model (DEM), not specifically LIDAR data
– Aerial LIDAR data is generally less accurate than drone aerial photogrammetry data

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[Paper] Point Cloud Data Systems

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Jon Osborn, from the University of Tasmania, spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on alternative platforms and sensors for point cloud data. Two key questions: Is dense point cloud photogrammetry emerging as a practical source of useful data? What are the developing operational guidelines for resource foresters? Jon outlined a number of preliminary conclusions from the study, including: Airborne/UAV photogrammetry is capable …

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Forest biodiversity research revolutionised

In ForestTECH by FIEA

A team of scientists from Australia, Brazil and Spain have joined forces to develop the most sophisticated remote monitoring system ever used to track the diminishing biodiversity of South America’s Amazon Jungle. The project will revolutionise the way biodiversity is monitored by creating a distributed, wireless sensor network throughout the jungle with autonomous nodes that continuously monitor wildlife under the …

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FireBlanket tech could revolutionise bushfire detection

In ForestTECH by FIEA

NRMA FireBlanket is new IoT technology working towards the early detection of bushfire via connected smoke detectors in Australian bushland. NRMA has embarked on a new project to explore potential of fire prevention technologies with Data61, a division of CSIRO. The partnership follows two years of research and development with innovation partner Tricky Jigsaw, part of the M&C Saatchi Group, …

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What is Amazon developing behind closed doors?

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Amazon is getting ready to examine it’s wireless communications technology abilities, including mobile devices and fixed-base stations in rural Washington and Seattle, the company disclosed in government filings recently. The filings do not specify what the tests would be for, but they hint of a new technological wireless service innovation. According to the British businessinsider.com, the company noted that the …

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The digital technology evolution

In ForestTECH by FIEA

There has never been a bigger force for change than technology. It changes everything. This video by Jose Esteves is a huge eye-opener in just how fast the world is changing. Some very interesting facts about the digital world, the information technology evolution and the changes in society. As an example, here is one fact that really challenges how we …

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UAV rules + sausage delivery

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Did you receive an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for Christmas? What was once an expensive hobby or commercial tool, UAVs are now an affordable and popular gift for the general public. While commercial UAV operators should know the rules, a high percentage of recreational drone users will not. Just last month a Melbourne man was being investigated by Australia’s Civil …

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UAVs vs eagles

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have become unlikely prey for wedge-tailed eagles in Western Australia’s Goldfields, costing a mining giant more than $100,000 to replace its newest surveying tool.

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Types of drones (UAVs)

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Although multi-rotors get most of the attention in the drone world, they are not the only option. If you’re serious about aerial mapping then you need to consider a fixed-wing aircraft. Single-rotor helis are also a great solution for some niche applications too. Here’s a run-down of the four main types of aerial drone platforms, and the strengths and weaknesses …

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[Paper] FCNSW UAV case study

In ForestTECH by FIEA

Mike Sutton, the Forest Information and Planning Manager at Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW), spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on integrating UAVs into their forest management operations. They identified the potential for UAV use in 2013 and ran a series of successful trials and demonstrations of the eBee ‘winged’ UAV. Although there has been rapid and ongoing changes within the programme, …

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Issues for the drone industry

In ForestTECH by FIEA

While drones (UAVs) are increasingly being used within the forestry industry, the drone manufacturers themselves are struggling to survive in the wider market. France’s Parrot SA, the second largest maker of consumer drones, is currently laying off a third of their staff. Smaller drone suppliers in New Zealand and Australia are also reducing their operations or dropping out of the …

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ForestTECH 2016: Event Summary

In ForestTECH by FIEA

ForestTECH, an FIEA event run annually since 2007, has become New Zealand and Australia’s premier technology series for forest resource managers, planners and inventory foresters. As a cornerstone event for the industry, ForestTECH also enables key researchers, technology providers and forest owners to build in their own client meetings, workshops and discussion groups on both sides of the Tasman. Over …

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Google Earth’s new mapping system

In ForestTECH by FIEA

New images released recently by Google Earth from the Landsat 8 satellite are giving viewers a crisp, stellar glimpse of our planet. In a blog post, Google Earth Engine program manager Chris Herwig explained exactly how the updated technology takes the satellite view of earth from extraordinary to breath taking. According to Herwig, the new images harness the power of …

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2015 Event Summary

In ForestTECH by FIEA

The ForestTECH 2015 technology series ran in New Zealand and Australia in November 2015. Again the turnout to this latest FIEA technology series has been excellent with over 250 technical and resource foresters attending. In addition to the two-day programmes in each country, local industry involved in GIS and remote sensing were able to capitalise on the event by running …