Oleg Melnik (Lead) / Jim Thomasson
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.