DOI: 10.3390/rs16010148 ISSN: 2072-4292

Assessment of the GNSS-RTK for Application in Precision Forest Operations

Hyun-Min Cho, Jin-Woo Park, Jung-Soo Lee, Sang-Kyun Han
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

A smart thinning operation refers to an advanced method of selecting and cutting trees to be thinned based on digitally captured forest information. In smart thinning operations, workers use the coordinates of individual trees to navigate to the target trees for thinning. However, it is difficult to accurately locate individual trees in a forest stand covered with a canopy, necessitating a precise real-time positioning system that can be used in the forest. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the applicability of the global navigation satellite system real-time kinematic (GNSS-RTK) device in a forest stand through analysis of its positioning accuracy within the forest environment and evaluation of the operational range of the single-baseline RTK based on analysis of the positioning precision and radio signal strength index (RSSI) change with increasing distance from the base station. The results showed that the root mean square error (RMSE) of the horizontal positioning error was highly accurate, with an average of 0.26 m in Larix kaempferi stands and 0.48 m in Pinus koraiensis stands. The RSSI decreased to a minimum of −103.3 dBm within 1 km of distance from the base station; however, this had no significant impact on the horizontal positioning precision. The conclusion is that the GNSS-RTK is suitable for use in smart thinning operations.

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