Aerial Information Systems Laboratory

The relative ease at which missions can be planned and flown makes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) a perfect fit for forest management applications.  Our Aerial Information Systems (AIS) laboratory is investigating a wide range of lightweight sensors for UAV application on both fixed wing and helicopters to support forest management, forest engineering, forest protection, wildlife habitat, and search and rescue operations.

Potential applications for forest management include

  • fire monitoring and assisting with firefighting operations
  • fire impact measurements and preparation for regeneration activities
  • stand mapping, disease detection
  • vegetation health assessment
  • height and age estimation
  • fertilization sensitivity stand exams
  • regenerations surveys
  • inventory and analysis

 Potential forest engineering applications include

  • logging system design
  • road and bridge design
  • sale layout
  • terrain modeling and slope stability assessment

Potential forest protection applications include

  • fire monitoring, hotspot detection
  • boundary protection
  • search and rescue and grow operation detection

Potential wildlife applications include

  • fishery population estimation
  • wildlife detection and tracking
  • habitat assessment
  • wildlife opening detection

Search and rescue operation applications include

  • finding people in rugged and hard to reach areas
  • reducing risk to search and rescue teams
  • increasing the efficiency of search and rescue efforts
Program Image: 
Remote Sensing, GIS, Spatial Analysis
Principal Investigator: 
Dr. Michael Wing
Key People: 
  • Jonathan Burnett
  • Richard Gabriel