Aberystwyth University Invest in UAV LiDAR for World-leading Forestry Research

The Earth Observation and Ecosystem Dynamics Group at Aberystwyth University have invested in a drone-based LiDAR and spectral imaging package in order to enhance their research across the globe.

The bespoke unit, configured by COPTRZ, is expected to significantly enhance the university’s research into the monitoring of British forests, focusing primarily on the measurement of standing timber volumes, forest biomass and carbon content.

After an in-depth consultation, COPTRZ were able to recommend their Volant™ UAV LiDAR system which will enable survey grade point clouds to be captured using a sub 20Kg drone linked to spectral imaging data. The data captured will then be used to monitor the successful transition of plantation forests to Continuous Cover Forestry, a forest management approach that seeks to increase the ecological diversity of British forests.
Osian Roberts, PhD Student at Aberystwyth University, explains:

“Aberystwyth University owns several fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAVs and we have now added to the fleet with a LiDAR unit that will enable the direct measurement of forest attributes such as tree height, stocking density and canopy cover. We anticipate that the proliferation of UAV technologies over forthcoming years will enhance opportunities for the collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, presenting our students and researchers with an opportunity to increase our knowledge of our environment.”

James Pick, UAV Strategist at COPTRZ and leader of the Volant™ LiDAR project, commented, “We are proud to be chosen by Aberystwyth University to enable their drone strategy. The team have been working tirelessly over the past 6 months to develop a UAV LiDAR solution that is both cost-effective and ready to use out of the box. We have managed to deliver this during the project and expect more research departments to consider similar UAV technology in the next 12 months. COPTRZ are looking forward continually working alongside Aberystwyth University in their quest to enhance their global research capabilities.”