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Jozébio Esteves Gomes

Competitiveness and Coordinator Eldorado Brasil Forestry Projects


Forestry of the future is now

The Future is Now, from the author of Three-Box Solution, Professor Vijay Govindarajan It portrays well the moment that global forestry is going through in terms of Digital Transformation. Without leaving technological aptitude behind, in the operational development of new machines and equipment for forestry mechanization, forestry has also shown itself to be one of the great fields of opportunities for disruptive innovations that significantly contribute to increasing operational performance in the field.

These innovations, today, range from the use of applications and mobile applications, to by remote sensing to monitor forest growth, and even with solutions embedded in machines and equipment, which allow operational monitoring to be carried out in real time.

We are truly at a stage where assisted operations allow us to make quick decisions, allowing us to maximize operational productivity in our forestry production processes.

Today we can sense practically everything in the silvicultural process, and it all starts with planning, with powerful forestry production optimization and ordering programs that allow us to accurately plan the implementation of forests and even digital microplanning of the forestry activities and operations that will be carried out. for the success of the enterprise.

At this stage, we also use numerous technologies, starting with the use of Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which carry out autonomous cadastral flights to survey the parameters necessary for good land use practice, respecting the soil and topographic conditions, as well as such as environmental criteria. Figure 1 in the group of illustrations.

With the collection of these images, it is possible to use digital soil elevation models, obtaining important details, such as slope, environmental protection areas, roads, carriers and even simulating the surface runoff of rainwater and distribution of plots in an optimized way. Figure 2 in the illustration group.

With this information, planting lines are defined and plotted, so that soil preparation operations can be carried out accurately, uploading them to the machines' on-board computers, which operate using automatic pilots guided by GPS, connected in real time with powerful satellites, as detailed in figure 3 in the group of illustrations.

Practically all silvicultural operations today can be monitored digitally, whether using mobile equipment, such as smartphones and tablets, or even with more robust embedded solutions, such as highly intelligent on-board computers.

The difference is that, for the latter, it is possible to automatically obtain operational production cycles, as well as the state of the machine, information that is very important for real-time monitoring of operational activities and decision making based on data from the system. present and also predict any failure that could happen to the equipment at a mechanical level. Figure 4.

Another important point in silvicultural practice is monitoring the evolution of field operations based on what was planned at the beginning. To achieve this, today, it is possible to use multi-temporal analysis technologies using nano satellites. This allows control of what was carried out versus what was planned, in a safe and intelligent way to obtain assertiveness and accuracy in the definition and execution of operational microplanning, as shown in the set of images in figure 5.

This same satellite technology is now also used to detect weed competition using high-resolution images to calculate biomass indices and detect weeds in forest plantations.

In terms of sensing, we are practically in the era of forests 4.0, as today almost all companies are already using smart sensors in their forest stands to obtain information on forest growth, and even its nutritional status. For example, we have LiDar sensors that allow 3D mapping of forest plantations, including providing dendrological data, allowing modeling of their growth and future production, as shown in figure 6.

Still along the same lines, we have digital dendrometers , which are sensors that measure the daily growth of trees, allowing us to obtain the behavior of forests at different stages of their establishment, as well as understanding the effect of the seasonality of the seasons on their development, as shown in the set of photos with the internet of things devices in set 7.

The latest market launch for this real-time fire monitoring practice is long-range drones. This equipment has a minimum autonomy of 6 hours of flight and a minimum range of 60 kilometers from its control point, which allows mobility in patrolling forests from the air, in search of any threat that could put forestry production at risk, making the silvicultural process is one of the safest in the world in terms of accident rates, according to photos number 8.

There are countless technological and innovative applications used in the silvicultural processes of forest-based companies, including the protection of their assets against losses caused by fire. In this field, technology has advanced immensely with monitoring systems with state-of-the-art automatic detection cameras that have a minimum range of 15 kilometers.

This allowed monitoring to be carried out 24 hours a day, increasing the safety and protection of forest stands, as shown in video number 9.

Finally, it is important to highlight that the entire process of digital transformation of part of the forestry production chain can only be successful with the due involvement and participation of the people who carry it out, as they are the key actors in ensuring that the technologies and innovations adopted have adherence and acceptance of the environment, thus allowing a continuous improvement of the silvicultural activities and operations carried out.