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HomePressPress releasesSLOPE project presents an early version of the 3D Harvesting Planner
31 July, 2015

SLOPE project presents an early version of the 3D Harvesting Planner

The consortium of the SLOPE project presented on July the 2nd its progress in the development of the integrated system, from forest information system to logistics transportation, in order to improve forest operations. The project, halfway to the end, has achieved important accomplishments, including an early version of the 3D Harvesting Planner.
Research area:

The Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research Center (ITENE), part of the SLOPE project consortium, presented its progress along with the other participants, in the European project that seeks to improve forest logistics in mountain areas.

The SLOPE project, aimed to characterize forest resources, integrating information from remote sensing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and on-field surveying system, has arrived to a successful integration between Forest Inventory and Harvesting System.

The project, which started in January 2014 and funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, seeks filling the current gap between more expensive, less flexible forestry operations in mountain areas and optimized cut-to-length systems commonly found in flatland forests. Until now, this operations are seldom performed by the harvester/forwarder system, being the sector still characterized by manual felling and extraction of timber by cable cranes. For this purpose, SLOPE Project has created the 3D Harvesting Planner, an innovative and useful prototype that would achieve a Sustainable Forest Management and optimal planning and logistics management of forest operations, facilitating and improving the decision-making.

The mid-term review meeting was held in Brussels on the 2nd of July. During the event, the consortium had the opportunity to present its achievements from image processing techniques to mechanical design, simulation and visualization. In this context, GraphiTech (coordinator of SLOPE Project) presented an early access preview of the Alpha 1.2 3D planning tool (3D Harvesting Planner).

The 3D Harvesting Planner (nowadays Alpha 1.2, an early access preview) integrates spatial information together with multi-sensor data and resources from existing databases and forest management plans. Additionally, the SLOPE project has also acquired and modified a suitable harvester that will have NIR sensors incorporated (tested in the future).

ITENE participation

ITENE makes available to the project SLOPE its extensive experience in the logistics sector and in the integration of RFID technology for tracking control, focusing on developing a system that will manage an integrated information model forest, including information on the size, quantity and quality of trees and their availability in real time for logging.

In the consortium meeting, ITENE, together with the rest of the partners, presented its progress, focused on an innovative human-machine technology, in order to fully ensure the traceability of timber and at the same time maximizing the use of it.

At this point, the logistics optimization model that will allow to determine an optimal forest logistics network has been a success, even performing a test in Austria. Furthermore, it has also been developed and partially tested with good results a marking system trees for supply chain wood, based on RFID technology. In addition, we have developed sensors and control points of the cards so that they respond to the RFID tags.

With these features, the SLOPE project aims to add value to forest production in mountain areas, thanks to the integrated use of novel detection technologies. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the segregation of registration and biomass, update forest inventories and refine the standardized models of development and performance.

The project

The SLOPE project has a total budget of 5,2 mm €, it will be concluded in December 2016 and it has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for R&D&I. Next to ITENE participate in the SLOPE project Fondazione Graphitech (Italy), the coordinator of the project; CNR- Trees and Timber Institute- IVALSA, Greifenberg teleferiche SAS, Compolab and Flyby S.r.l. (Italy); MHG Systems Ltd (Finland); Coastway LtD and Treemetrics (Ireland); and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria).

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