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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 …