High technologies guarding the forests of Ukraine.

October 03, 2023
Високі технології на варті лісів України.
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More than 5 million hryvnia amounted to damage from illegal deforestation in the Kyiv region alone on an experimental area of 50 thousand hectares in 2016. The data was obtained during the Drone.UA pilot project, conducted jointly with a number of commercial organizations.

According to the State Statistics Service, a total of 114.2 million UAH for 2015. lost due to illegal deforestation in Ukraine, which is 2.4 times more compared to 2014.

The new Drone.UA project based on the Zemli.online analytical system allows not only to determine the location and area of logging, but also to prevent most of them at the very beginning, and in total reduce damage from illegal logging by up to 75%.

The essence of the project is monitoring and protecting forestry using satellite and unmanned technologies. The project aims to accomplish the following tasks:

— determination of the location and size of existing clearings
— early identification of new clearings and rapid response
— study of the dynamics of clearings to predict and identify areas of potential damage.

During the course of the project, a monitoring system was developed that allows autonomous analysis of all forest areas of Ukraine and automatically identifying areas of mass deforestation in the shortest possible time - up to 24 hours from the moment of receiving satellite or UAV data. The obtained data can be quickly compared with information about legal logging areas, including preventive ones. In this way, illegal activities can be monitored for immediate action.

Project capabilities:

• Satellite monitoring of fellings every 5-7 days.
• Monitoring using UAVs: daily or on demand
• Notification within several hours after receiving data, providing precise coordinates for prompt response.
• Possibility of immediate recording of violations using drones: recording data on the number of equipment used in illegal logging, down to vehicle license plates.
• System of prompt notifications by e-mail and SMS

The detection of clearings is based on the processing of spectral data received from satellites or drones and the calculation of various vegetation indices, which determine the correspondence of the surface type for each coordinate or area of interest.

A forest area of 3284 hectares between the settlements of Boyarka and Malyutyanka, Kyiv region, was used as one of the experimental sites. The analysis of clearings was carried out using two satellite images from the Sentinel-2a satellite for August 2015 and July 2016. During the study period, 24 new clearings ranging in size from 0.5 to 2.8 hectares with a total area of 38.2 hectares were discovered. Based on the nature of the vegetation, we can conclude that 8 clearings with a total area of 13.4 hectares are planned and are planted with new trees. In the photographs, authorized logging is marked in blue, unauthorized logging is marked in red.

In the second block of the pilot project, according to confirmed data from one of the participants, on the territory of the Zalissya NPP and adjacent territories with a total area of 15 thousand hectares, 10.23 hectares were discovered, which were marked as zones of illegal logging, the size of each felling from 0.5 to 3 ha. The detected zones arose in the period from 2015-10-15 to 2016-07-17. Damage from illegal actions exceeds 4.9 million hryvnia.

Previously, in the period from June 25, 2015 to October 15, 2015, no new deforestation was observed in these territories.

In total, the pilot project involved monitoring and analysis of more than 50 thousand hectares in the Kyiv region from October 2015 to July 2016.

“The pilot in the Kyiv region was so successful that the algorithm and methodology attracted the interest of our foreign partners, and from July 1 we launched another pilot in the Baltic countries. The task we set for ourselves is to show that the system we have developed is applicable globally,” said Valery Yakovenko, co-founder of Drone.UA. “The project is both a technical and scientific development. More details about the methodology and successes will be available at the international conference on earth remote sensing next year.”

Drone.UA is a leading integrator of unmanned technologies on the Ukrainian market. The company operates in the agricultural sector, energy and oil and gas industries, as well as in the fields of geodesy and topography. The main areas of work of Drone.UA are the development and implementation of industry solutions based on drone technology, the provision of services using UAVs, as well as the processing of data obtained using drones. Drone.UA drones are used on more than 1.5 million hectares of cultivated areas in Ukraine.

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DroneUA is an international system integrator of unmanned solutions and robotics.

On the market of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the DroneUA group of companies is the largest importer and distributor of leading drone manufacturers in the world and represents technological solutions from the brands XAG, EcoFlow, Pix4D, Parrot, Chasing, DroneDeploy, AgroCares and others.

The group of companies has its own engineering, production and service divisions, as well as an open data processing center. Technological solutions presented by DroneUA are used on more than 4 million hectares of cultivated areas of Ukraine. According to the results of the 2021 and 2022 agricultural seasons, more than 2.2 million hectares were protected with drone sprayers from DroneUA.

DroneUA is among the top three most innovative businesses in the agricultural sector of Ukraine according to FORBES and among the twenty most innovative enterprises of Ukraine.

The group of companies continues to expand the list of technological brands that it presents on the Ukrainian market, and is active in agriculture, the oil and gas industry, as well as in the fields of energy, geodesy and topography.

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