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Using UAVs to scan winter burn piles





Oleg Melnik (Lead) / Jim Thomasson

Other Collaborator(s):


Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.


Winter burn piles traditionally have been scanned in the spring prior to fire season to comply with provincial regulations. This task is usually done with a helicopter and scanner, and this can be expensive and time consuming. The issue is: can UAV technology be used to reliably detect holdover fires in winter burn piles? The project will determine the costs and benefits of using a UAV to scan piles, and explore the methodology, and the approvals required for operation. The approach will be to construct a test grid to determine the minimum hotspot size and temperature that the UAV can detect and then conduct a series of tests over burn piles to compare the results to the helicopter scan. UAV availability means the pile scan portion will not take place until spring 2015.

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