Operational deployment of LiDAR in Australian softwood plantations
LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) can deliver significant practical and economic advantages to those intensively managing pine plantations. The six largest pine plantation management organisations in Australia have formed a collaborative to determine if the deployment of LiDAR can be coordinated, thereby reducing costs and sharing expertise.
This report compares the status of LiDAR in each organisation and suggests operational development and deployment strategies for the near future (i.e. the next 2-3 years).
Discussion points in the report include using LiDAR to assist early age inventory of unthinned stands; the possibility of using LiDAR for later age, post first thinning pre-harvest inventory; the formalisation of the collaborative; and, how LiDAR system parameters might best be kept under continual review.
The report also suggests that a larger, later age inventory project be undertaken, with part funding by FWPA and other organisations.