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On the Applicability of UAV in Forestry Practice

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S.V. Koptev, O.V. Skudneva

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The article discusses the features and capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in forestry practice on the basis of the international experience. The focus is on the problem of defining and linking the boundaries of forest sites to the map of the area using a satellite navigation system (SNS) receiver, placed on an UAV. The use of UAVs eliminates errors of the SNS operation due to its insufficient noise immunity in conditions of reflecting objects and surfaces (crowns and trunks of trees, places with an altitude difference). We mark the shortcomings that limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in forestry practices (lack of regulation on their use in airspace; weak theoretical basis; poor quality of the images obtained; complexity of the flight survey organization; low accuracy of on-board navigation system; lack of ground control points; accident risks; etc.). The paper proves the effective-ness of monitoring forest areas using UAVs in order to detect fire fronts, to assist in fire-fighting, to monitor the state of forests, objects of forest infrastructure, sites of illegal logging, unauthorized landfills, to determine forest stand taxation indicators, to improve technologies of logging sites development, census of animals, etc. The authors demonstrate the possibility of creating transport unmanned aerial vehicles with navigation-flight systems and their use in determining forest land boundaries and map control of the region providing accuracy requirements.


S.V. Koptev1, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Associate Professor
O.V. Skudneva2, Senior Lecturer


1Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Naberezhnaya Severnoy Dviny, 17, Arkhangelsk, 163002, Russian Federation; е-mail:
2Scientific and educational complex “Fundamental Sciences”, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Rubtsovskaya Naberezhnaya, 2/18, Moscow, 105005, Russian Federation; е-mail:


forestry, monitoring, unmanned aerial vehicle, navigation and flight system, con-trol point of a cutting area

For citation

Koptev S.V., Skudneva O.V. On the Applicability of UAV in Forestry Prac-tice. Lesnoy zhurnal [Forestry journal], 2018, no. 1, pp. 130–138. DOI: 10.17238/issn0536-1036.2018.1.130


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Received on August 12, 2017

On the Applicability of UAV in Forestry Practice


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