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Drone test for replanting forests

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

The massive task of restoring land denuded by fires, drought or human activity might eventually be helped by swarms of drones that can plant almost 400,000 tree seeds a day. “There’s an absolutely huge, huge area across Canada in need of … reforestation activities,” Lauren Fletcher, chief executive of England’s BioCarbon Engineering, said after a recent demonstration of his company’s …

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Infrared sensing gives drones a new edge

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

An ‘x-ray vision system’ that overlays three specific technologies to assess the structure and health of individual trees in plantation forests through the canopy is being developed in South Australia. University of South Australia autonomous systems expert Professor Anthony Finn said an infrared sensor gave the drone the “x-ray vision” to see through forest canopies. The collaboration between the forest …

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Lidar Market Heading towards 2 Billion Dollars by 2023

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

According to a comprehensive new market research report, the overall Lidar market is expected to reach over US$1.8 billion by 2023, up from US$819.1 million in 2018, at a CAGR of 17.2%. Encouragement from the governments and institutes for the adoption of Lidar while conducting geological surveys is the major factor driving the growth of this market. Introduction of technologically …

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Tiny RoboFly could sniff out forest fires

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

This is one flying insect you don’t want to swat. It doesn’t bite, sting, or spread disease and someday it could be a life and climate saver. In time, it could survey crops, detect wildfires, poke around in disaster rubble searching for survivors and sniff out gas leaks, especially global warming-fueling methane, a powerful greenhouse gas many times more potent …

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Expressions of Interest – ForestTECH 2018

In Event, ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

ForestTECH is this region’s premier technology series. It’s run for Australasia’s forest resource managers, planners, inventory foresters and GIS and mapping specialists by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). Since 2007, it’s the one event every year that focuses on this particular part of the forestry industry. Forest owners, forestry mangers, key researchers and technology providers are also now picking …

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Terrestrial Laser Scanning in Forest Inventories

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is an effective technique for acquiring detailed tree attributes in forest plots. During the last two decades, national mapping agencies, companies, universities and research organisations have put tremendous effort into developing methods for tree attribute estimation using TLS. There is, however, still a lack of proper understanding on TLS performance. Different data collection methods and processing …

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New lab immerses users in environment of Agumented Reality

In ForestTECH, Issue14 by FIEA

The Lab, which is part of CSIRO’s new $100M research facility in Canberra, will allow researchers to develop new interactive computer graphics and computational imaging services, which will redefine industries including retail, agriculture, manufacturing, health and construction. Senior Research Engineer and Experimental Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61 Matt Adcock, said AR and VR technology would change the way Australians interact with …

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ForestTECH News Issue 13 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to this month’s issue of ForestTECH News. This month we’ve included a couple of stories to get you thinking. Firstly, VR. At last year’s ForestTECH event, local forestry companies for the first time got a chance to look through a VR headset. The research and presentation was able to highlight the potential use of Virtual Reality for future forest …

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Report released on the potential for AI

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

Last week, the AI Forum (that’s Artificial Intelligence – not Artificial Insemination) released a major study about the potential for AI in New Zealand. For those interested, it is available free on the AI Forum website: Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand. The report is the culmination of nearly a year’s work with research partners IDC and Sapere, examining …

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International expertise for Woodflow 2018

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

As part of the upcoming two-yearly tech update for forestry, wood harvesting and transport companies around Australasia, the very latest international and local developments around vehicle fleet operations, planning and safety as they apply to the wood transport businesses, new log measurement systems and resource and transport scheduling are being unveiled. Outside of tech specialists drawn from across New Zealand …

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Sensors for monitoring employees’ emotions

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

Is this a future safety tool for workers in higher risk occupations? Companies throughout China are using brainwave sensors to train workers and screen for mental fitness, South China Morning Post reports. More than a dozen factories are requiring workers to wear devices that use artificial intelligence to monitor their emotions. While officials say this saves money, the implications for …

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Evaluating drones for aerial mapping

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

How often have we wanted to get a bird’s eye view with location intelligence from a certain height? A drone gives you the chance to view everything from an aerial point of view. So, how do you select the right drone for your mapping needs? If you are looking to outsource this service, how can a commercial drone service be …

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Nearly 2,000 forest owners testing virtual forest

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

The virtual forest developed by Metsä Group, Tieto and CTRL Reality runs on all VR devices, and it can simulate different forest management methods and their impact on income and the landscape, for example. The solution can replace actual visits to the forest, and it helps to illustrate the impact of forest management activities, among others, to forest owners. “Metsä …

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Drone and satellite imagery combined

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

Airbus Aerial and DroneBase have announced a partnership that will be interesting reading for any organization that relies on aerial imagery to make better decisions. The two plan to deliver the world’s first “multi-source data service solution for aerial imagery and data from a single provider”. In English, that means the companies will seek to offer a combined service that …

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NZ$830,000 funding for securing LiDAR data

In ForestTECH, Issue13 by FIEA

New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries’ Erosion Control Funding Programme (ECFP) is providing NZ$830,000 to the Gisborne District Council to undertake high definition digital 3-D aerial mapping of its region to enable better informed erosion control and business decisions. LiDAR is a remote sensing tool which uses laser pulses to generate large amounts of highly accurate geographical terrain data. “With …

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ForestTECH News Issue 12 Summary

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to the next issue of ForestTECH.events News. This regular update continues to generate keen interest and contributions from the industry across Australasia. Welcome also to our North and South American readers who attended the first ForestTECHx event that we ran in Vancouver a month ago. Readership continues to climb and we’ve already got well over 1000 forest resource managers, …

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Super clusters to aid in forestry innovation

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

Information sharing between competing businesses and research facilities in B.C.’s forestry sector, could help grow the industry, rather than create more competition, according to tech experts. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster Consortium was at the Council of Forest Industries Convention in Prince George on Thursday to talk about how superclusters can help forestry and other resource industries. Superclusters are innovation hotbeds, …

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Forest remote sensing data acquisition trial

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

We reported on a trial in a recent issue of Friday Offcuts where researchers from NSW DPI, University of Tasmania, Interpine, SCION and the University of Sydney have been working collaboratively on an FWPA funded remote sensing project. The joint trial is designed to assess and compare data captured from a range of sensors and aerial and ground-based platforms in …

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Phenotyping for precision forestry

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

The Phenotyping Platform under development at Scion aims to link information from a number of sources to derive knowledge about the drivers of tree growth, and provide the tools to optimise forest management in support of precision forestry. Phenotyping relies extensively on the application of remote sensing and image analysis to characterise forest stands and trees. Remotely sensed data are …

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5 mobile technology trends in the forestry industry

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

The Paperless Forest The forestry industry has been the top user of mobile technology in Finland for many years. That is a big deal when you consider that Finland is a global leader in mobile technology (thanks to Nokia and others), and a global leader in forestry (Stora Enso and others). So, what can we learn and adapt from Finland …

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Log trucks to collect road data

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

The digitalisation of the road network is often thought of as something related to main roads alone. The forest sector, however, is also interested in the road network outside main roads, and its condition will be monitored in many ways in the future. Road data can already be easily collected by means of the mobile phone. With the appropriate application …

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Industrial drones for remote operation in construction

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

There is absolutely no doubt that drones offer a high ROI for the construction industry. But the notoriously traditionalist sector has been slower than others to adopt drones on worksites. Now global drone leader DJI and commercial drone data company Skycatch have scored a deal to deliver 1,000 high-precision drones to construction giant Komatsu. It’s a big step forward for …

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The changing marketplace of geomatics

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

The changing landscape of the mapping and surveying profession brings new challenges, even for a renowned manufacturer of geospatial instruments like Trimble. In view of the growing role of BIM, the rising demand for complete workflow solutions and the challenge of extracting meaningful information out of the immense volumes of point clouds derived from Lidar data acquisition, it is clear …

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Looking at the future of GIS

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

To gain real insight into today’s geospatial business landscape, ‘GIM International’ decided to ask some of the sector’s most influential companies for their opinions. This series of Q&As captures the current state of the industry from various perspectives, such as which technological and societal developments will have the most impact on the geomatics market, which market segments are the most …

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Optimising radiata pine stand density

In ForestTECH, Issue12 by FIEA

Optimising radiata pine stand density could increase the net value of New Zealand’s plantation estate by NZ$1.7 billion. The Scion research team including Dr Mike Watt, Mark Kimberley, Jonathan Dash, Duncan Harrison, Dr Juan Monge and Les Dowling, used the productivity indices Site Index (SI) and 300 Index (I300) to develop a model that predicts the optimum final crop stand …

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Welcome to 2018 – ForestTECH Issue 11

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

The ForestTECH annual update on remote sensing and forest inventory technologies is already well established in Australasia. It’s been going since 2007. It continues to be the one event at the end of each calendar year where local foresters involved in resource management get together. Last week we extended the series into Canada for the first time (www.foresttechx.events). As part …

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Using drone-based aerial photogrammetry in forestry

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) find their place in the forestry sector, Waypoint met with a pioneer in this field, researcher Stefano Puliti of the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO). In this wide-ranging interview, we discuss his commercial forestry learnings—including the always-hot topic of LiDAR versus aerial photogrammetry—and we delve into Stefano’s ongoing research, which could apply …

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Forest researchers trial remote sensing technologies

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

Leading researchers from Australia and New Zealand converged on Carabost State Forest in late February to test state-of-the-art sensor equipment mounted on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototypes and a helicopter. The trans-Tasman group of 14 scientists from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), SCION, the University of Tasmania and Interpine spent three days in the Pinus radiata plantation capturing …

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Unmanned vehicles getting bigger and bigger

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

When most people think of drones – even commercial ones – they picture a quadcopter, or maybe a long endurance fixed wing. But at the larger end of the market, there are new developments in a totally different model of unmanned aircraft: an industrial sized, gasoline powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft. California-based UAVOS recently demonstrated their SURVEYOR-H at …

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Drone use climbs for U.S. natural resource management

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

With a fleet of 312 unmanned aircraft, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Aviation Services supported bureau operators, who flew nearly 5,000 missions in 2017, ranging from fighting wildfires to monitoring dams and spillways and mapping wildlife. The accomplishments of its unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drone program, can be found in a recent report by DOI that …

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Forecaster software provider changes

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

Last Friday marked an important day for Forecaster clients as the maintenance and support of the product shifts to a new software provider. Forecaster is a forest planning and simulation software package developed by Scion over the past 10 years, with support from New Zealand’s forestry industry. It is a well-established tool for commercial forestry planning, and it will from …

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Geospatial big data moves to data sharing

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

Geospatial has always been considered as big data, both by its own advocates and many others, writes Ian Holt, a big data evangelist from the UK, in his latest column in ‘GIM International’. Yet large spatial databases and datasets are no longer enough to qualify as ‘big data’ as we now define it. Instead, they are just a piece of …

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Using LiDAR in forest inventory – free new guides

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

A model development and application guide for generating an enhanced forest inventory using airborne laser scanning data and an area-based approach. Airborne Laser Scanning data—also known as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)—enables the accurate three-dimensional characterization of vertical forest structure. Airborne Laser Scanning data have proven to be an information-rich asset for forest managers, enabling the generation of highly detailed …

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Four commercial drone trends for 2018

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

In my last post, Five Biggest Commercial Drone Trends of 2017 and the Challenges Ahead, I used data from our 2017 Drone Market Sector Report to illustrate the major trends of the past year and describe the major challenges ahead for the drone industry. That post looked back, but this one looks forward, offering our specific predictions for 2018, including …

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New LiDAR drone announced with industry firsts

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

Delair has been an industry leader for industrial drone solutions for a number of years now – and they’ve just announced the next generation of high-performance industrial drones with the Delair DT26X LiDAR UAV. It’s the first fixed-wing to carry the sophisticated RIEGL LiDAR sensor. Founded in France, Delair has had the advantage of legally flying beyond visual line of …

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What’s happening to forest inventory in Canada?

In ForestTECH, Issue11 by FIEA

The forest inventory business is changing. For forest professionals, keeping up-to-date on technological innovations and understanding the different sources of forest inventory information available (and the associated terminology) can be challenging. There are two acronyms in particular that invite confusion: NFI and EFI. NFI stands for National Forest Inventory and represents a type of inventory: an NFI is designed to …

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Welcome to 2018 – ForestTECH Issue 10

In ForestTECH, Issue Summary by FIEA

Welcome to the first issue of the ForestTECH newsletter for this year. Good to be back at work? Amazingly, already a month of the year has flown by. To start the year, we’ve added a number of remote sensing stories to this issue – all of which were touched on as part of the ForestTECH 2017 series that ran at …

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Autonomous air tankers for firefighting?

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Firefighters may soon get another tool in the drone arsenal, as Thrush Aircraft and Drone America from an alliance to begin development of the world’s first autonomous air tanker. The Best of Planes and Drones Thrush Aircraft manufactures small manned planes; Drone America designs and manufactures commercial drones. “The new tanker is expected to blend Thrush’s large airframe and airborne …

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Comparing Lidar & Photogrammetric Point Clouds

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Airborne Lidar and photogrammetry are both viable methods for capturing point clouds for 3D modelling of man-made hard structures. Although both methods produce point clouds, the manner of capturing data differs in many ways, resulting in point clouds with differing characteristics. In this study, the researchers evaluate Lidar and photogrammetric point clouds captured from unmanned airborne systems for inspecting a …

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Agri Robots & Drones to be a US$45 Billion Industry by 2038

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Robotic technology is quietly transforming the world of agriculture. A report by IDTexchEx describes how this market will plausibly grow to become a US $45 billion industry by 2038. It also demonstrates how diverse this emerging industry is in terms of forms, functions and fortunes. Will tractors evolve towards full unmanned autonomy? Tractor guidance and autosteer are well-established technologies. In …

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Study identifies opportunities for NSW forest owners

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

New research from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has highlighted promising opportunities for 18,000 North Coast private native forest (PNF) landholders, to increase income and create new jobs through ecologically sustainable forestry operations. The study sheds light on the extent and status of the region’s privately owned forests, finding a large number of properties could be more actively …

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Drones used to survey B.C.’s wildfire damage

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are using drones to investigate how much damage the 2017 wildfire season wreaked on B.C.’s forests. By flying the unmanned machines over B.C.’s Interior, graduate students and a professor in forestry can not only see the size of the area burned but can also use the drones’ high-resolution images to create 3D models …

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Terrestrial laser scanning for forest inventories

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is an effective technique for acquiring detailed tree attributes in forest plots. During the last two decades, tremendous effort by national mapping agencies, companies, universities and research organisations has been put into developing methods for tree attribute estimation using TLS. There is, however, still a lack of proper understanding on TLS performance. Different data collection methods …

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NZ to trial drone traffic management system

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Airways is calling for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or drone, users to take part in the trial of New Zealand’s first UAV traffic management (UTM) platform. Airways has partnered with global airspace management provider AirMap to deliver the platform that provides flight planning and management tools for commercial and recreational UAV pilots. The three-month trial is taking place in the …

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Satellite technology a game changer for NZ farmers

In ForestTECH, Issue10 by FIEA

Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has announced the launch of an innovative satellite technology called SPACE (Satellite Pasture and Cover Evaluation) – a giant leap forward for pasture management. SPACE uses satellite images to measure pasture, sending detailed reports directly to farmers by email. This innovative technique has the ability to save farmers several hours a week by replacing the current …

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Remote assessment of individual trees with VR

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

As discussed and demonstrated at the recent ForestTECH 2017 series (photo), Virtual Reality (VR) technology may offer unique opportunities to fundamentally change forest practices for which human assessment skills are required. VR can situate users inside 3D spatial digital data acquired using terrestrial or airborne platforms with photogrammetric or LiDAR technologies. It can provide users with tools to interact with …

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NGIS introduces new Forestry Monitoring Service

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

Aerial and Satellite imagery has been used in the Forestry sector for decades, providing intelligence enabling monitoring, operational awareness and auditing capability amongst a range of use cases. Recent advances in the availability and use of UAV’s to capture aerial imagery has made an impact on Forestry, however the challenge is having access to imagery at scale to provide a …

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LINZ wins environmental spatial award

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

LINZ’s efforts to help fight Wilding Conifers – a rapidly spreading invasive pest tree in New Zealand – were recognised at this year’s Spatial Excellence Awards. “LINZ’s web-based mapping and monitoring tool for authorities to assess and improve efforts to control the spread of this significant pest, picked up the top prize in the Environment and Sustainability Category,” says Deputy …

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Forestry investing in drone technology & skills development

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

At the just completed ForestTECH 2017 series, we heard from major forestry companies in both New Zealand and Australia that are investing heavily in drones, training in-company pilots and using the technology operationally across their estates. Timberlands who manage >200,000ha plantation forests in the CNI of New Zealand including the Kaingaroa estate already have six qualified pilots (harvest manager, establishment …

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International forest technology experts coming to Vancouver

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

With the very successful ForestTECH 2017 series finishing this week in Melbourne, attention now swings to North America. A new international forest management technology conference is set to bring all of the latest inventory and harvest planning technologies from around the world to Canada’s premier forestry city, Vancouver, in March 2018. “We’re bringing together the world’s leading technology experts in …

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Teen scientist wins with innovative drone design

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

A teenage scientist from Germany has been given a top award thanks to an innovative drone design that uses a different wing lift pattern to traditional planes. It’s based on an historic German design that was never built, and crucially uses a single lightweight wooden wing. The result is improved aerodynamics, contributing to better stability in flight. Eighteen year-old Ivo …

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Industry adopts drones for forestry supervision

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

Enabling foresters to see the forest from above; drone technology has been developing exponentially over the last couple of years and Interpine Innovation presented at ForestTech 2016 on courses available for foresters to start using the technology to their benefit. Over 25 foresters from harvesting supervisors, environmental managers, forest engineers and a few harvesting contractors have completed training this year …

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Continuous monitoring of your forest resource

In ForestTECH, Issue09 by FIEA

To effectively manage resources decision makers, require timely information at an appropriate scale. In the recent years there has been a marked increase and uptake of remote sensing technologies – drones, LiDAR and satellite imagery. In a sense they all have a place provided they are cost-effective, provide consistent results, and add value. Not to go unnoticed is the increased …

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Choosing the right stand densities & tree genetics

In ForestTECH, Issue08 by FIEA

Forest owners and managers can increase log quality, yield and total value by up to $16,000 per hectare by choosing the right tree spacing and best genetically improved tree stocks for their forest stands. A team of Scion scientists in New Zealand have carried out end-of-rotation assessments at Atiamuri near Rotorua (planted in 1990) and Glengarry near Napier (planted in …

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Testing nursery research in the forest

In ForestTECH, Issue08 by FIEA

Several nursery trials carried out as part of GCFF projects in New Zealand have shown that reductions in fungicide and fertiliser use can produce seedlings of the same or better quality when leaving the nursery gate, but how much does this matter after those seedlings are planted in the forest? Recent analysis of growth data from a 2010 out-planting trial …

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Agriculture drone market may exceed US$4 billion

In ForestTECH, Issue08 by FIEA

According to an August study by Esticast Research & Consulting Market Research, the global commercial drone market may reach US$3.6 billion by 2024. However, a new study forecasts an even larger bumper crop for just one of the many sub-sectors — agriculture. The study, released by MarketInsightsReports, predicts the ag drone market will exceed the entire drone market value referenced …

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CSIRO invests in sophisticated satellites

In ForestTECH, Issue08 by FIEA

CSIRO has secured access to one of the world’s most sophisticated high-performance satellites, giving Australian scientists direct control over which data the satellite collects over our region and placing the national science agency at the forefront of Australia’s civilian space science sector. Due for launch later this year, the NovaSAR satellite will provide CSIRO and the wider Australian research community …

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Improving small-plantation and woodlot inventories

In ForestTECH, Issue08 by FIEA

Small plantations and woodlots are a vital part of the New Zealand forest sector. Growers of these woodlots include an estimated 14,000 small-scale and medium-scale forest owners and much of this resource is found on New Zealand’s farms. Accurate assessment of these forests is important for ensuring realistic valuation during forest transactions and to understand current and future wood availability …

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Mobility eats everything

In ForestTECH, Issue08 by FIEA

In just 10 years the ‘smartphone’ has become an essential part of our working and personal lives. We hear and see a lot of hype about the ‘next big thing’ in mobile devices, however, in reality, all we seem to get are incremental upgrades and new form factors. Everything is just about to change! This is the topical subject for …

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Unlocking the true value of forestry data

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

It’s the one forestry technology event every year that brings in forest resource managers, inventory foresters, GIS specialists and researchers from throughout Australasia. Last year, over 250 delegates attended the end-of-year ForestTECH series. It highlighted new data collection technologies and advances on accessing, processing and better interpreting the associated big data streams that were being collected out in the field. …

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NZ drone makers finding niche markets

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

New Zealand’s commercial drone manufacturers are successfully finding niche markets as the potential for the unmanned flying machines takes off. While unable to compete on price with large Chinese drone makers, several Kiwi companies are finding specialised uses for drones, which are already saving business time and money. Currently, 70 per cent of commercial drones are used for aerial photography, …

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NZ$800,000 for 3-D mapping of Northland

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

New Zealand Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced government funding of up to NZ$800,000 for 3-D aerial mapping of Northland to provide the region with highly accurate geographical data to make better business decisions. “This will be the most comprehensive LIDAR exercise ever undertaken in New Zealand and the high-quality mapping data produced …

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Android™ AOSP: What You Need to Know

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

Android™ has emerged with growing popularity in the handheld arena, from smartphones to tablets to other devices, it’s here to stay. Since its notable growth, Google has been working toward making various forms of Android available for enterprise devices as well as other device types such as Internet of Things. In the world of rugged handhelds, device manufactures have been …

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Cutting edge technology assists forest management

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

Greater protection for waterways and more accurate timber volume estimates are some of the benefits stemming from a six-month project to capture sophisticated LiDAR data across all state-owned plantations in Tumut and Tumbarumba. Snowy Region Planning Manager Duncan Watt said the data generated from the project would improve both environmental management and wood flow to local mills during timber harvesting …

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Choosing the right stand densities and tree genetics

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

Forest owners and managers can increase log quality, yield and total value by up to $16,000 per hectare by choosing the right tree spacing and best genetically improved tree stocks for their forest stands. A team of Scion scientists in New Zealand have carried out end-of-rotation assessments at Atiamuri near Rotorua (planted in 1990) and Glengarry near Napier (planted in …

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AI-powered drone soars like a bird

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

Microsoft is working on giving a sailplane flying instincts like a bird. The artificial-intelligence controlled flying machine can detect and hitch a ride on thermals, enabling it to circle and gain altitude without having to expend any energy. They’re testing the intelligent learning platform as much as the sailplane itself, examining its ability to learn how to avoid danger. It …

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New satellite system (SBAS) Australian and NZ GPS users

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

“Scion initial tests of new GPS augmentation system for Australia and New Zealand shows marked improvement in position accuracy”. Scion has recently completed early tests of a new satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) for GPS users in Australia and New Zealand. The test signal is part of a broader project to provide enhanced positional information across the Australasian region. Geoscience Australia …

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AI to better predict forest fires

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

The same sort of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows cars to drive themselves could be used to better prepare for devastating forest fires, says an Alberta fire scientist. Researchers at the University of Alberta and the University of Oklahoma teamed up to study how real-time meteorological data analyzed in a neural network – a machine-learning system modelled on how the …

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Tracking wildfires with drones

In ForestTECH, Issue07 by FIEA

Boeing-owned Insitu has announced that it will provide drones to FireWhat, a California-based company that monitors wildfires and natural resources. As spotted by GeekWire, the Insitu drones will be used to keep track of fires even at night or under heavy smoke conditions. Military-grade electro optical cameras and infrared cameras make the drones particularly versatile. Their video can then be …

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AI rolling out a lot quicker than we thought

In ForestTECH by FIEA

We’ve already touched on the role that artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are playing on future business growth. According to McKinsey, a global consulting company, 45 percent of work activities could actually be automated using technology that was being demonstrated in 2016. This suggests that the advancement and adoption of automated technologies is likely to play …

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Korea investing 1.0 billion in drone industry

In ForestTECH, Issue06 by FIEA

Determined to be part of growing Asian drone industry, the South Korean government has announced that it will invest a further 1.2 trillion won (over $1 billion) in the industry over the next five years. Korean news outlets report that the country’s Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MOLIT) has detailed plans designed to boost drone infrastructure and industry …

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NZ forestry collaborates on 532,000ha LiDAR project

In ForestTECH, Issue06 by FIEA

Interpine Innovation is currently around 50% through the LiDAR capture of 532,000ha of plantation forest in New Zealand. It’s a collaborative project that brings together forest owners, which affords efficiencies in both LiDAR capture and processing. LiDAR which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to …

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New advanced LiDAR on a fixed wing UAV

In ForestTECH, Issue06 by FIEA

Carbomap, an environmental survey company, in collaboration with high-performance LiDAR manufacturer RIEGL, UAVE and The University of Edinburgh, has announced the first successful demonstration flight of a RIEGL VUX-1LR survey-grade waveform laser scanner on a fixed wing, long range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This is likely the first time that such a high-performance scanner has ever flown on a fixed …

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Fighting forest fires with technology

In ForestTECH, Issue06 by FIEA

As wildfires recently have burned across the interior of British Columbia, thousands of residents were forced out of their homes — many not knowing whether those homes would withstand the flames. It’s a scenario seen increasingly not only across North America’s west coast, but in places around the world facing drier, hotter weather due to climate change. Scientists say such …

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Predicting optimal stand density in NZ plantations

In ForestTECH, Issue06 by FIEA

Radiata pine when it is planted too closely together grows tall and spindly while wide spacing encourages branch growth and land may be underutilised. Somewhere in between is an optimum final crop stand density that allows forest owners and growers to maximise the volume and value of the logs produced. Scion scientists have recently looked at the factors that affect …

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What’s now and next in analytics, AI and automation

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

As we’ve reported in recent issues, rapid technological advances in digitisation and data and analytics have been reshaping the business landscape, supercharging performance, and enabling the emergence of new business innovations and new forms of competition. At the same time, the technology itself continues to evolve, bringing new waves of advances in robotics, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), and especially …

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Which RFID reader option is best for you?

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

For those of you who are new to the world of RFID and rugged handheld computing, welcome. We hope this post at Juniper serves as a guide to help you better understand which information collection option best suits the needs of your project. A common question often answered is, “Which RFID frequency should I use?” We want to make sure …

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Satellites put plantation water use into context

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

Forest plantation managers can better understand water use and the potential impact of different forest management approaches by integrating satellite based water consumption estimates, according to research co-funded by the FWPA. Being able to accurately measure how much water is used by all land-uses, including plantations, is vital for the forest industry to lead an ‘evidence-based’ informed debate about forestry …

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A new foliage penetrating LiDAR system

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

Shortly after lasers were first developed in the 1960s, LiDAR—whose name originated as a combination of “light” and “radar”—capitalized on the newly unique precision they offered for measuring both time and distance. LiDAR quickly became the standard method for (3-D) land surveys and is now used in a multitude of sensing applications, such as self-driving cars. By scanning areas of …

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AI could double NZ’s growth rate in 20 years

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

Accenture has released research – Why Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Growth – which shows New Zealand’s growth rate could double between now and 2035 if emerging technologies are embraced. Accenture New Zealand Technology Lead, Mary-Anne McCarthy says New Zealand could use innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies as a tool to transform our thinking about how growth is created, …

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New Go-To Resource for the UAV industry

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

There are many rapidly moving parts in the emergence of the new commercial UAV (UAS, drone…) industry. A new book (April 2017), Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Guide: Exploring Designs, Operations, Regulations, and Economics has just been released that explores these moving parts and looks to be a go-to resource for those looking to or currently participating in this new space. …

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Drones that can stay aloft for five days

In ForestTECH, Issue05 by FIEA

In the event of a natural disaster that disrupts phone and Internet systems over a wide area, autonomous aircraft could potentially hover over affected regions, carrying communications payloads that provide temporary telecommunications coverage to those in need. However, such unpiloted aerial vehicles, or UAVs, are often expensive to operate, and can only remain in the air for a day or …

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Millions of hectares of forest discovered

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

Scientists have discovered a whopping 467 million hectares of previously unreported forest scattered around the world, a finding that they say could have a big impact on global carbon budgeting moving forward. The finding boosts estimates of global forest coverage by 10 percent, and changes our understanding of how well drylands, where these forests happen to be situated, can support …

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Airbus now moving into commercial drones

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

Airbus has announced the launch of a new commercial drone start-up, named Airbus Aerial, that will focus on developing new imagery services. These services will leverage technology that Airbus has developed over the years and uses with satellites and complement that with imaging from drones and other high altitude aircraft. “Through Airbus Aerial, we are uniquely positioned and fully committed …

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Laser system recognises tree species automatically

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

A joint research project by Tampere University of Technology’s mathematics laboratory and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has developed a new method of recognising tree species based on laser scanning measurements. The method enables the calculation of classification features in a completely new way. The researchers from TUT and Luke received promising results when testing a fully automatic method …

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US Department of Defence funding paper airplanes

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

For all those interested in UAV’s, here’s an interesting story. DARPA, the U.S. Department of Defence military research agency, whose work has resulted in staples of modern life such as the Internet and GPS systems, is now working with a San Francisco-based R&D lab – Otherlab – to develop the world’s most advanced industrial paper airplanes. The project is part …

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Combining the best technologies for 3D Modeling

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

Cambridge startup Scanifly isn’t just another drone data platform. With a background in solar technology and a clear view of the value proposition for drone data, founder John Novak and his team are combining technologies for the best in 3D modeling for the enterprise – and beyond. Starting with solar technology applications, Scanifly has developed feature-rich solutions designed to maximize …

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When Birds Attack! — A real threat to drones

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

When it comes to operating commercial drones, there are some challenges that every operator needs to address: gaining official permission to fly, knowing where you can safely operate, staying on top of the weather… a professional dronist is rarely bored. But one issue, globally at least, is rarely discussed: the very real problem of birds of prey attacking unmanned aircraft …

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Australian drone regulations need tightening

In ForestTECH, Issue04 by FIEA

A Coalition senator is calling on Australia’s Federal Government to toughen up laws on the use of small drones. Queensland senator Barry O’Sullivan said he feared a “catastrophic” accident was possible if measures to govern the use of drones that weigh less than 2 kilograms were not considered immediately. Last September, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) relaxed rules around …

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Remote sensing advances to usher in virtual reality

In ForestTECH by FIEA

New technological tools harnessing the power of remote sensing to make it quicker, easier and cheaper to measure forest inventory will soon be unveiled – and in future could potentially enable a virtual “walk through the forest”. Researchers are set to brief estate managers and forest planners on the results of a world-leading three-year, AU$1.8 million collaborative research study jointly …

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Update on a log counting app

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

The recognition of objects within images is a technology within the field of computer vision. A practical application within the forest industry is counting logs. Once I heard about an app that would do this it seemed like an obvious application for this technology (it was only obvious to me after I was told about it!). Last year a colleague …

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€1M for real-time satellite coms & data-analytics platform

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

Coillte, Ireland’s national forestry company, has announced a major €1 million contract agreement, with Cork-headquartered Treemetrics to roll out a pioneering real-time satellite communications and data-analytics platform for forestry harvest control. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D was joined by Coillte Chief Executive Fergal Leamy and Treemetrics CEO and co-founder Enda Keane in Government Buildings to mark the agreement (photo). The …

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Early expressions of Interest – ForestTECH 2017

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

The ForestTECH series has been run annually by FIEA since 2007. It is now firmly established as the technology event where forest resource managers, remote sensing and GIS specialists and inventory foresters from throughout Australia and New Zealand meet. ForestTECH has become the annual platform for showcasing; new remote sensing technologies, advances in satellite imagery, mobile communications developments, systems for …

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Is the new iPad a bargain for field users?

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

Earlier this month Apple released a new iPad with a 9.7” screen at a price that makes it appear to be a bargain when compared to the 9.7” iPad Pro. But will field users find it to be a suitable alternative to the other offerings from Apple? The short answer is “no”. Apple is now offering four iPad Models. 12.9″ …

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3D HoloLens for fire-fighting?

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

Those attending the MobileTECH 2017 event a couple of weeks ago were introduced – and were able to put on to test out – the very latest HoloLens, Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) viewer. The opportunities for our own land-based industries for AR were (excuse the pun), eye-opening. For the first time, unmanned aerial systems and holograms are helping fight wildfires. …

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Unmanned helicopters on a data collection mission

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

In many forests, the collection of information pertaining to the wood remains neglected, due to a shortage of specially trained personnel, specific expertise, funding, or appropriate technology. A project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) aims to put small, unmanned helicopters to work, measuring the parameters for the forest inventory. In forest inventory, it is currently not possible …

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Remote sensing to assess pest and pathogen damage

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

In a recent review by Christine Stone, NSW Department of Industry – Lands and Caroline Mohammed, University of Tasmania, developments and applications in remote sensing that can improve the accuracy and timeliness of health assessments in plantations managed for timber and pulp production were assessed. The detection and mapping of damage extent and severity caused by insect pests and fungal …

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Why agriculture drone solutions deserve a closer look

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

A myriad of innovative new technologies around sensors and the collection and use of data from drones were showcased at the MobileTECH 2017 event run for primary industries in Rotorua in March of this year. Foresters and resource managers late last year at the ForestTECH event run in New Zealand and Australia were also given updates on research and trials …

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Satellites map carbon sequestered by forests

In ForestTECH, Issue03 by FIEA

Led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to …