Forestry Windblown Events
Forestry Windblown Events, The monitoring and observance of forests and woodlands can pose a tiresome and exhaustive process in a sense that requires an abundant amount of workforce and skills and appropriate resources. Accounting to be a major challenge of forestry, surveillance of forestlands is done to ensure the prevention of the dangerous undertakings that lead to greater hazards to nature. In forest fires, illegal felling of trees, etc.
When a major catastrophic event hits such as a storm which can effect extremely large areas forestry managers and owners are under intense pressure to asses, plan, and implement the cleanup operation this could involve hundreds and thousands of Hectares of land. Drone tech in forestry windblown events can be an invaluable easily deployable safe and cost effective solution to gather essential data for better decision making.
On top of this there is the planning of replanting to get the land back to normal as soon as possible.
In November 2021 parts of the UK and predominantly the Scottish Borders and Cumbria were hit with winds gusting more than 100mph with the highest being 101mph in Northumberland.
As well as devastation to property, infrastructure, and utilities, large areas of woodland were devastated with more than approximately 1 million Metric tonnes of windblown trees and an estimated 4000 hectares of land (just smaller than Dundee) over 8 million trees and roughly 1/3 of what would be felled nationally in a given year.
Although windblown events are rare and hard to predict, when they happen the after-effects can be devastating with forestry management plans shattered, plans that could have been planned to encompass forest management and timber felling and replanting, sustainability for the next 5 or 10 years.
Traditional methods could involve people on the ground to asses the damage.
Windblown areas can be highly dangerous areas with uprooted trees blocking access partly fallen and weak trees ready to fall at any time, some weighing over 3500 kilos (3.5 tonnes) creating a serious risk to life for forest workers.
More traditional methods have been helicopters which are costly and could take time to arrange and then process the data.
Utilising drone technology at the right time can improve workflow by gathering vital data in the hours and days after an that can help facilitate quicker applications for felling, understanding the site and the extent of the damage, access routes, damage to utilities and other structures, priority clearance.
If the data is collected correctly the production of Ortho-mosaic topography, lidar maps, digital terrain models, digital surface models.
Multiple file formats Tif, Tiff for import into GIS high-definition JPEG, 4k video, LIDAR, NDVI and NDRE, Thermal the information using the correct platform such as Iprosurv’s proprietary platform could be shared instantly with multiple stakeholders, insurers, loss adjusters, government organisations, contractors, forestry managers, and owners but to name a few.
Iprosurv met had an online meeting with the client and agreed the outputs that were required by the client and the time frame which the data had to be delivered to the client and agreeing the method of data delivery, GSD (ground Sampling Distance)
The client wanted to view the data on a GIS (Geographic Information System) programme which could be used to accurately measure the affected areas, in order to do this the information needed to be processed as a .TIF file for compatibility into QGIS (the GIS software).
A GSD (Ground Sampling Distance) of 1.91 cm per pixel was agreed with the client which was well within the requirements of the client who required a maximum of 25cm per pixel.
The plan was agreed and Iprosurv then began to plan the mission firstly by inputting the parameters of the flight into the flight management system to provide an automated flight plan which the drone would follow and take images at the correct time and altitude and camera orientation.
Once on site with the 3 man drone team the 5 operations were undertaken over 250 Hectares of land to be covered the operation took approximately 8 hours to complete, once complete the data was instantly uploaded on site to produce an orthographic file in TIF format to be used in QGIS also produced was a DTM (Digital Terrain Model) in Tif format which could be used in conjunction with the RGB data to confirm damage. As an added feature for the client with the same data we produced a low resolution 3d model that would give a different perspective than 2D.
The drone was able to cover the ground very quickly covering an Area of 20 hectares in approximately 25 minutes whilst gathering the data required to produce the outputs required by the client.
A GSD (Ground Sampling Distance) of 1.91 cm per pixel was achieved, which allowed he client to exam the affected areas in minute detail through GIS software.
The data was delivered to the client within 72 hours, which enabled the client to plan resources, manpower and applications for felling.
Whilst on this case the value of the data could not yet be measured in cost saving as the clear up operation is still in full swing. However the client has confirmed that time saving was in excess of two weeks and with multiple data sets from one source rather than having to arrange multiple inspection teams and resources the time saved was invaluable.