FROM UAS DATA ACQUISITION TO ACTIONABLE INFORMATION – HOW AN END-TO-END SOLUTION HELPS OIL PALM PLANTATION OPERATORS TO PERFORM A MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANTATION MANAGEMENT
Keywords: UAS, GNSS base line processing, Oil Palm Plantations, Object-based image analysis, Sustainable forestry
Abstract. Palm oil represents the most efficient oilseed crop in the world but the production of palm oil involves plantation operations in one of the most fragile environments - the tropical lowlands. Deforestation, the drying-out of swampy lowlands and chemical fertilizers lead to environmental problems that are putting pressure on this industry. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) together with latest photogrammetric processing and image analysis capabilities represent an emerging technology that was identified to be suitable to optimize oil palm plantation operations.
This paper focuses on two key elements of a UAS-based oil palm monitoring system. The first is the accuracy of the acquired data that is necessary to achieve meaningful results in later analysis steps. High performance GNSS technology was utilized to achieve those accuracies while decreasing the demand for cost-intensive GCP measurements.
The second key topic is the analysis of the resulting data in order to optimize plantation operations. By automatically extracting information on a block level as well as on a single-tree level, operators can utilize the developed application to increase their productivity.
The research results describe how operators can successfully make use of a UAS-based solution together with the developed software solution to improve their efficiency in oil palm plantation management.