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Deploying Sensors on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Aid in Urban Forest Inventory, Species Identification and Health Monitoring

Grant Number
18-DG-11132544-013

Small UAVs mounted with advanced sensors can be used to identify tree species, quantify tree size, and determine which trees may be diseased or stressed

Forest inventory and monitoring are critical tools for successful urban forest management. We propose to work with the US Geological Survey’s National UAS Project Office and the City of Denver’s office of forestry to demonstrate how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to facilitate inventory and monitoring. Specifically, we will illustrate how small UAVs mounted with advanced sensors can be used to identify tree species, quantify tree size, and determine which trees may be diseased or stressed, all at a much lower cost than traditional in-person inventory methods. Using the USGS’ fleet of drones based in the Denver area, we will fly over urban areas where tree species, size and health condition are known, using the collected imagery to train a set of classification algorithms, to be generated in collaboration with the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab. Based on this we will develop a manual for urban forests on how
to use UAVs for this purpose, disseminated in collaboration with our Forest Service partners. While data will be calibrated in Denver, results will be widely applicable, since Denver includes tree species commonly found throughout the nation.

Contact
Austin Troy
Austin.Troy@ucdenver.edu
303-315-1006
Organization
University of Colorado
Department of Urban and Regional Planning, College of Architecture and Planning
University of Colorado Denver
1250 14th Street
Denver CO, 80202
Total Project Cost
$ 284,888
=
Federal Share
$ 142,219
+
Grantee Share
$ 142,269
Year of Award
2018
Year of Expiration
2019
Grant Categories
Planting, Inventory, and Analysis for Forest and Environmental Health
Sub-Topics
Inventory (tree)
State(s)/Region(s)
Colorado
Keywords
drone, UAV
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