Efficient Forestry

Increased productivity, reduced workload, lower energy consumption and shorter transport distances. This work package leads to many benefits. The researchers focus on developing new technology within automation and optimisation – innovations that help us to take responsibility for the forest, and to use it intelligently and sustainably. How can the energy consumption of forest machines be reduced? How do we prevent the soil and other important natural values from being damaged during felling? The keys to the answers can be found here.

The Efficient Forestry work package focuses on four tasks:

Planning for Precision

What is the forwarder’s best route for transporting the wood out of the forest? Using detailed terrain and forest stand data, we work out which route reduces energy consumption taking environment and cultural heritage into consideration. In this task, a “planning robot” has been developed, providing the forest planner and the machine operator with accurate suggestions. It is also possible to propose the best places for the landings, where the timber is stacked awaiting onward transportation at the roadside. The project delivers models that contribute to sustainable forestry.

Precision Forest Management

In this task, various sorts of decision support are developed for forest management. Digital terrain models and soil moisture maps are validated for the efficient establishment of new forest. Studies of forest growth models in a changing climate are also being conducted. Detailed forest data is also used to identify thinning needs within particular parts of a forest stand. Finally, the models are adapted from stand level down to smaller sections, thanks to the increased level of detail in the data input to the models.

Machine Perception in Forest Machines

In this task, virtual models are used for terrain transportation and other forest operations. The forest machines of the future can take more decisions using different sensors without the driver’s intervention, and several steps such as loading logs onto a forwarder, can be automated. This makes it much easier for an operator, and also opens the door to remote control of the machine. Increased productivity, lower energy consumption and a better working environment are further benefits of this research.

Real-time Production System

After the trees have been felled, they are transported to the road for onward transport to the industry, usually a sawmill or a pulp mill. In this task, efficient support using real-time data from felling, for more efficient terrain and onward transport, is being developed. This support is utilised to make more efficient use of the forest machines, with a connection from felling through to the industry.