ForestTECH News Issue 21 Summary

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Welcome to this year’s first issue of this region’s forest inventory and remote sensing newsletter, www.foresttech.news

Other than those unfortunately having to work on fire duty (and many of you still actively involved in both Australia and New Zealand) over the Christmas period, we trust the break over the summer period has been a good one.

We’ve built in a number of stories into this issue which you should find interesting. First off is a survey currently being undertaken by the University of South Australia for Forest and Wood Products Australia, the objective being to develop an investment plan for Resource Modelling and Remote Sensing for the Australian plantation sector from 2018 to 2023. The survey is closing at the end of this week. Details and a link are contained in the story.

It appears that China is now edging ahead of the U.S. and Europe by using drones for the delivery of goods in more remote locations. It was only a matter of time. Following a recent trial, one of the country’s leading e-commerce companies is suggesting that 50% of its packages are going to be delivered by drones and one Chinese logistics company has just had approval for commercial drones for its delivery operations.

In Australia, an Israeli drone provider has just secured the first-ever approval by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to operate drones beyond visual line of sight from a remote operations centre.  The waiver also enables them to operate without the need of an air crew on site, making it the first such waiver issued.  They’re actually going to be operating the drone some 620 miles away.  So, like the autonomous mining operations in Western Australia where trucks are being controlled off-site, the first move to operate drones remotely in this part of the world has just been taken. 

Also, in Australia, CSIRO, has recently announced that it will be extending its Earth observation capabilities by acquiring Australia’s first CubeSat designed to detect invisible infrared light.  To be known as CSIROSat-1, the data collected from the new satellite (expected to be launched in 2020) will be valuable for detecting land cover changes such as flooding events or deforestation, detecting bushfires through smoke, and studying cloud formation and the development of tropical cyclones, as well as many other applications. <br><br>

With LiDAR, Scion reports that they have just picked up a new top-of-the line lidar scanner – the Riegl MiniVUX-1 UAV Snoopy V-series manufactured by LidarUSA to add to the Forest Informatics team’s tool kit.  It can capture data at greater than 60m above ground (and up to 120 m) which means line of sight UAV flying is much easier, and the UAV is safely clear of tree tops. 

That’s it for this month.  Enjoy this latest issue.  Any contributions or leads for this newsletter – and audience as we move into 2019 – will be gratefully received. 

Stories this issue:

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