Colin Filliter of Sauvair demonstrates drone technology to PFLA field tour participants.

One of the highlights from PFLA’s 2016 field tour, June 1st in Campbell River, was a drone technology demonstration by Colin Filliter of Suavair. Colin uses drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), to capture low-elevation imagery.

In case you missed it, and you’re interested to learn more about the application of drone technology in silviculture surveys, here are 3 reasons drone technology is good for forest management.

Better decision making

The equipment Colin uses captures high-definition imagery that covers an entire cutblock, not just a small sample. All imagery is transmitted to a live 720p feed so you can make important management decisions in the field. The imagery is also recorded, in 1080p or 4K, so you can review the images once you’re back at the office, as many times as you need, and determine the best management decision.

Applications include:

·      Free to grow surveys
·      Brush assessments
·      Log boom inventories

You can also compare archived imagery to future imagery to evaluate the impact of treatment prescriptions over time.

Improved safety

Walking over steep ground and across thick slash is a high-risk activity. In fact, slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of injuries to foresters in British Columbia.

Because UAVs fly over hazards they significantly reduce or eliminate the need to walk through high-risk areas, while at the same time ensure the complete area of a block is covered. Less caulk time means less risk of injury and improved safety overall.

Greater production value leads to lower costs

Flying over hazards is not only safer, but more cost effective and time efficient. Drones are able cover distances a lot more quickly than human beings can. Colin estimates the technology they use is about 300% more productive than a traditional ground surveying crew.

Higher production compared to traditional ground methods means drone technology can significantly decrease your cost per hectare.

To see the drone technology in action, you can check out Colin’s video below or visit the Suavair website.

Here’s a group photo Colin captured from the demonstration. You can check out more photos from the field tour on PFLA’s Facebook page. Thanks again to Colin for the demonstration.

Suavair demo