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Sensing the future of forestry

19 March 2019

A remote sensing trial currently being planned in South West jarrah forests will improve the information available to forest growers across Australia.

The FPC trial is part of an Australia-wide program run by the National Institute of Forest Products Innovation and will use remote sensing techniques to develop a jarrah forest harvest planning system.

Remote Sensing Manager Hans Blom said the trial will determine if these techniques can improve the safety and efficiency of the current planning process.

“Currently jarrah harvest planning includes several field assessments ,” Mr. Blom said.

“We are hopeful that utilising new technologies will improve ecological and silvicultural outcomes, as well as increase productivity through better planning and optimised tree marking.”

Representatives from Perth based companies C4D Intel and Astron recently joined FPC staff on a field trip to a jarrah coupe to scope what data could potentially be captured by drone or from the ground.

The focus will be on LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) capture and photogrammetry, which will produce 3D models of the forests.

Data captured could provide information on species identification, topography, old-growth, dieback, forest structure and tree metrics.

The trial will be conducted in several stages with the evaluation to be delivered in June 2020.

“The opportunities for advancing forestry through the use of technology are very exciting,” Mr. Blom said.