Using Drones to Fight Deforestation

Margherita Olivo
November 22nd 2015

Drones were initially known to be adopted in the military field, for air-patrolling and attack missions. Nevertheless in the late years they are having a great role in completely different and wider fields, such as deliveries, weather control and entertainment. Recently British company BioCarbon Engineering developed a new ingenious way to exploit drones: reforestation.

The company, specialized in innovative technologies to fight deforestation around the world, intends to adopt drones to plant a billion trees, allowing our planet to restore its balance, to breathe as it used to, storing CO2 and reducing global warming.

Planting a billion trees will have positive effects on biodiversity, protecting the habitat of hundreds of species that depend on forests for their survival. Researchers at the BioCarbon Engineering argue that a large-scale reforestation is the only way to counteract deforestation caused by agriculture, mining, urbanization and timber industry is carrying out a large-scale reforestation.

The system of reforestation based on drones has significantly lower costs, compared to the methods used today. The technique of reforestation drones has another big advantage: speed. The process of mechanical planting is much faster than the manual one. This makes it possible to plant thousands of new trees in a short time, returning to the world hundreds of hectares of forest. The drone does not just throw the seeds on the areas to reforest, hoping they will take root. To maximize performance, the drone will, in a preliminary phase, fly over the deforested area to make a 3D mapping. Thanks to detailed images of the ground, it can then proceed with the planting of trees.

To allow the plant to grow fast, the seeds are encapsulated in a nutrient-rich hydrogel. The system of the BioCarbon Engineering promises to be faster and more accurate than current methods. However, no data are yet available on large-scale experiments to verify the validity of the reforestation system through drones. Similar technologies used in the past did not get good results.

Source: Futurism. Image: Shutterstock.

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