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New LiDAR technology set to change forest inventory

13 July 2020

Interpine has recently purchased the Emesent Hovermap LiDAR simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) solution to better serve the company’s clients. “We’ve been using Hovermap technology in a series of forestry trials since late 2019 combined with our own customised deep learning algorithms for segmentation and quantitative tree assessment,” said David Herries, Director and GM of Interpine.

“We are very impressed with the technology and applaud Emesent’s innovative approach to SLAM based LiDAR solution and developing systems that produce exceptional results which are a game-changer for the forest sector”. Interpine will be deploying this for both on-ground 3D scanning and aerial drone LiDAR survey, providing a range of industry solutions from engineering, to forest resource assessment and carbon inventory. There are numerous opportunities and efficiencies in using this type of technology and we look forward to continuing to work with our industry partners, clients and researchers across the sector by making this technology available”.

“From the ground, the unit works as a backpack scanning the surrounding forest completing tree diameter, form, quality and height measurements when combined with Interpine’s innovative LiDAR processing solutions. From the air on our fleet of drones the Hovermap collects LiDAR which penetrates vegetation canopies deriving both ground and vegetation 3D models, while also using its own simultaneous location and mapping technology to maintain position and navigate safely avoiding obstacles with or without GPS”.

“Together with Interpine’s CAA 102 certification for beyond visual line of sight flights (BVLOS), this greatly enhances safety, autonomy and capability of drone operations over forest canopies in challenging terrain” says David Herries. Further coverage on the purchase can be read here.

Note: The Hovermap technology was outlined for the first time to inventory foresters and resource managers at last year’s ForestTECH 2019 event. Trials were also undertaken by Scion using an industry standard DJI M600 drone carrying an Emesent Hovermap shortly afterwards and a series of operational trials have also been undertaken collecting detailed inventory data below the canopy since, with outstanding results.

As part of the upcoming ForestTECH 2020 event being run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 18-19 November 2020, in addition to outlining the results from some of these early trials, a half day in-field workshop is being planned with Interpine, Scion and Emesent for the morning after the conference concludes, on Friday 20 November. Further details on the comprehensive forest inventory event being planned as part of ForestTECH 2020 will be available shortly.

Sources: Interpine, Photo: Scion

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