ForestTECH News Issue 17 Summary

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Welcome to this month’s issue of ForestTECH News.

Registrations to our annual November tech update, ForestTECH 2018 are now flowing in and places to the workshops, already filling up. Event brochures with details on the programme and registration information for both Australia and New Zealand were posted out this week (yes, we still use hard copies as well as digital). So, most of you will be receiving these on your desk very shortly.

In one of the lead stories, we’ve profiled some of the rapid advancements being made with VR, AR and mixed reality. It’s a key theme for this year’s series. Last year at ForestTECH, inventory foresters and resource managers were for the first-time strapping on a VR headset to see just how far the concept of visually characterising and measuring individual trees away from the forest had got. Twelve months on and, like the technology, advances in this space have been rapid. LiDAR data from a variety of in-forest trials have since been tested to see whether the features required in timber cruising can be picked up and quantified using VR.

Mixed reality is another technology being rolled out. It’s being trialled locally with a New Zealand forestry company and Scion. The HoloLens technology has been used to enhance the company’s harvest planning and communications. The app developers for HoloLens were able to modify the HoloMaps application to bring in GIS data such as a digital terrain model and associated attribute data belonging to compartments and skid sites. This trial, along with the tech developers will be part of this year’s series. In addition, the Finnish developers involved with the Virtual Forest project will be outlining its development and application in Europe. Further details are contained in the story in this month’s issue and on the event website, www.foresttech.events.

Other stories this month include a summary from the recent modelling that Scion researchers have undertaken, that predicts the impacts of climate change on New Zealand’s plantation estate. We’ve built in several recent stories relating to drones, including their use in optimising the wood supply chain and the work of an unmanned aircraft system over densely forested areas in Japan. Also included is news of a world record flight of the first production solar-powered Zephyr, an aerial platform that operates in the space between conventional satellites and manned aircraft – which was outlined at last year’s ForestTECH series.

That’s it for this month. Enjoy this month’s read. Remember if interested in saving a space for yourself or work colleagues on the pre-conference workshops that have been lined up for the November ForestTECH series, spaces are being filled on a “first in-first served basis”.

Stories this issue:

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