Drone forest inventory in Uruguay 2017-04-14T18:44:53+00:00

Project Description

Novadrone participates in a forestry research project in Uruguay.

In collaboration with the INIA (Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria) Novadrone surveyed more than 1.000 hectares of Eucaliptus. Information obtained include more than 70 Gb of high resolution images. Once procesed, a 3D point cloud with more than 1.000 millions of points was generated and analyzed.

Taking a forest survey using classical methods for 1.000 Ha (2,700 Acres) it might take 20 people one month to conduct a survey of,  say, 100 samples. Samples are distributed across the survey area and estimations are then inferred for the content of the entire forest.

Following this example, you could first survey that size area in one flight, producing a 3D forest map. This would enable optimal targeting of sample zones, reducing to say 20 plots. It would improve where to target these samples therefore improving inventory calculations and massively reducing timeframes and cost to do so.

Following this innovative method, Novadrone reduced the time to conducted this survey to only one week and only two people were needed to finish all the survey tasks: ground samples, flights and image processing.

The 3D image produced gives height data which, in certain respects, gives greater accuracy of information as the image is not a sample but a complete coverage of the area. This improves operational planning and allows identification of harvesting zones and timeframes. It also enables far greater targeting of needs (reducing costs) – periodic comparison of results would highlight areas with better/worse growth conditions. Therefore needs can be precisely identified and addressed in a far more cost effective manner.

Furthermore, the optional integration of RTK provides a highly accurate positional reference point which provides more precise height calculation than purely with GPS. Ground Control Points can be eliminated or greatly minimised which opens up significant possibilities in terms of timeframes and particularly in difficult to access areas.

Integration of other sensors than RGB, such as multispectral, infrared and thermal offer the possibility to research such aspects as plant health, offering possibilities for highly targeted responses to disease and growth variations.The Nomad is unique in having the payload capacity and the Novadrone engineering capability to integrate multiple sensors to capture various data in a single flight.

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