volume: 43, issue:
In the last couple of years, there have been a great number of articles that cover and emphasize the advantages and possibilities that UAS (Unmanned Air System) offers in forest ecosystem research. In the available research, alongside UAS, the importance of developing sensors that are designed to be used with UAV (Unamnned Air Vehicle), a flight programming software and UAS collected data processing software have been pointed out. With the widespread use of high-precision sensors and accompanying software in forestry, it is possible to obtain accurate data in a short time that replaces long-term manpower in the field with equal or in some cases, such as windthrow calculation or wildlife counting, greater accuracy. The former practice of manual imagery processing is being partly replaced with automated approaches. The paper analyses studies that deal with some form of application of UAS in forestry, e.g. forest inventory, forest operations, ecological monitoring, forest pests and forest fires, and wildlife monitoring. In the forest inventory, a large number of studies deal with the possibilities of applying UAS in mapping vegetation and individual trees, morphological research of individual parts of trees, surface analysis, etc. The use of remote and proximal sensing technologies in forest engineering has mainly been focused on defining surface roughness and topology, road geometry, planning and maintenance, ground-based and cable-based harvesting and soil characteristics and displacement. Wildfire monitoring already relies heavily on the use of UAS and thermal cameras in operations, and it is similar to the mapping of windthrow or directions of the spread of certain insects important for forestry. In wildlife research, numerous studies deal with abundance research of individual terrestrial birds and mammals using UAS thermal imagery. With some drawbacks such as wildlife disturbance or limited UAV range, common to most of the processed studies are positive attitudes regarding the application of UAS in forestry sensing and monitoring, which is slowly becoming a common operative practice, with the scientists’ focus being on developing automated approaches in UAS imagery processing. Reducing the error by improving the technological characteristics of the sensors will in the long run reduce the number of people required to collect data important for forestry, reduce risks and in some cases increase accuracy.