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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2017) 62(1): 23–30
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Professional Paper
UAVs for data collection - plugging the gap

Marie Heaphy *,1, Michael S. Watt 2, Jonathan P. Dash 3 and Grant D. Pearse 4

1 Researcher, Geomatics Group, Scion. Corresponding author:
2 Research Leader, Geomatics Group, Scion.
3 Researcher, Geomatics Group, Scion.
4 Researcher, Geomatics Group, Scion.
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have emerged as important and useful platforms for acquiring remotely sensed data, offering the ability to collect imagery and other data with increased spatial and temporal resolution. In the New Zealand and Australian forestry sectors, UAV applications include a range of tasks such as cutover mapping, forest health assessment, and silvicultural quality assessment. As a platform, UAVs remain constrained by weight, distance and regulatory considerations. These factors mean that UAVs have primarily found a niche collecting data for smaller areas of forest that are uneconomical to survey using satellite-based earth observation or aerial survey. UAV and sensor technologies are maturing rapidly and a range of potential applications highlighted by the forest industry are currently being investigated.
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