• SLOPE Project

    Integrated proceSsing and controL systems fOr sustainable forest Production in mountain arEas
  • 1

WorkPackages

  • WP 1
  • WP 2
  • WP 3
  • WP 4
  • WP 5
  • WP 6
  • WP 7
  • WP 8
  • WP 9

WorkPackage Title:

Definition of requirements and system analysis

WP Leader:

MHG

Description:

The objectives of WP1 are to:

  • Identify the targeted users and specifically their needs and requirements.
  • Define state of the art processes for planning, managing and assessing harvesting operations and supply chains in mountainous areas.
  • Define a comprehensive set of information to support the implementation of more timely decisions, and improve the quality of decisions.
  • Detail the data and metadata model covering the use of SLOPE.
  • Define the hardware, equipment, sensors and mobile devices to be used.
  • Define the HMI requirements, especially for the on-field devices and machines.
  • Define and document the system architecture to be used.
  • Define the project technicalities and technical requirements such as use case special conditions (i.e. system failures, interdependencies, interfaces etc.).

The work under WP1 will result in specifications, user requirements, and guiding models to be used in the design and development tasks of WP2-WP3-WP4-WP5. End users and SMEs will be the leading actors supported by the scientific and technical expertise of the rest of the consortium.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.1.1 Users and System requirements ITENE
T.1.2 Hardware and equipment definition GRAPHITECH
T.1.3 HMI definition GRAPHITECH
T.1.4 Mountainous Forest inventory data model definition CNR
T.1.5 System architecture MHG
T.1.6 Scientific coordination GRAPHITECH
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WorkPackage Title:

Forest information collection and analysis

WP Leader:

Coastway

Description:

The main WP’s purpose is to develop methodologies and tools to fully describe terrain and stand characteristics, in order to evaluate the accessibility for and efficiency of harvesting technologies in mountain forests. The overall methodology starts from low scale remote sensing and multispectral analysis for raw estimation of the whole biomass volumes, to reach detailed information on individual trees from high-resolution on-field surveys (UAVs, Terrestrial laser scanner). High spatial resolution data with images Ground Sample Distance (GSD) smaller than the dimensions of individual tree crowns provide spectral information on individual trees as well as their health status.

DSM generated using UAV images, terrestrial laser scanner analysis and existing topographic information allow the generation of a detailed 3D virtual model of the forest, which will be used for the planning and simulation of the harvesting operations, optimization of logistics and road planning. 3D visualization of forest landscapes can be used to visualize stand succession, landscape transformation, and regional planning, and to improve harvesting decision-making processes.

A combination of techniques based on image and laser data will provide height and breast height diameter (DBH) of all individual trees, as well as other geometrical information (i.e. straightness, taper, etc.) that will be used to define tree quality indicators in WP4. The data collected and extracted will be used to populate a forest information model for harvesting purposes.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.2.1 Remote sensing and multispectral analysis FLYBY
T.2.2 UAV data acquisition and processing COASTWAY
T.2.3 On-field digital survey systems TREEMETRICS
T.2.4 3D modelling for harvesting planning GRAPHITECH
T.2.5 Road and logistic planning ITENE
T.2.6 Scientific coordination GRAPHITECH
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WorkPackage Title:

Integration of novel intelligent harvesting systems operating in mountain areas

WP Leader:

GREIFENBERG

Description:

The objective of WP3 is to set up the machines and tools required to create an intelligent interaction among all the operators involved in forest harvesting in steep terrain. From the phase of tree marking to the final operations of processing, piling, loading and delivery of timber and biomass, the information generated in WP2 will be linked to the single product unit (whole tree, logs) by mean of barcodes and RFID tags (data carriers). Along the production chain, quality and quantity data will be added by a number of sensors and included in data carriers as well as transmitted to a central data server. Data transmission to the central server/cloud will be accomplished in real time by each machine independently. A dual GPRS and Satellite communications system will be used to keep the data moving real time from the harvester. Additionally, a black-box system, ideally located in the vehicle used for commutes the operators, will also store the produced data. In case of missing GPRS/UMTS coverage, the black-box will transmit the daily data as soon as it reaches an area with sufficient coverage.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.3.1 Intelligent tree marking CNR
T.3.2 Intelligent tree felling/hauling COMPOLAB
T.3.3 Intelligent cable crane GREIFENBERG
T.3.4 Intelligent processor head COMPOLAB
T.3.5 Intelligent transport truck ITENE
T.3.6 Data management back-up CNR
T.3.7 Scientific coordination GRAPHITECH
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WorkPackage Title:

Multi-sensor model-based quality control of mountain forest production

WP Leader:

CNR

Description:

WP4 aims at exploiting advantages of combined diagnostics techniques and multivariate data analysis for more reliable and rational assessment of the harvested material. Multi-sensor analysis aims at estimating both extrinsic and intrinsic quality indicators (related to the external characteristics of the tree and the internal wood structure, respectively). A scope of WP4 is the definition of threshold values and variability models of the selected quality indicators for the different end-uses (i.e. wood processing industries, bioenergy production).

The final objective is to combine all obtained “quality-related information” provided by machines/operators during on-field survey (T2.3), harvesting and processing (WP3). The aim is to benefit from the system’s ability for tracking (assure propagation of information about material characteristics along the value chain) and in consequence improving the grading system reliability.

Due to its distribution, and economical relevance (especially in the alpine region, where demonstrations are planned) the proposed quality control procedures will be implemented for Norway spruce (Picea abies) wood. The development of an integrated system for quality control of mountain forest production will be based on multi-sensor approach principle, and will include combination of several “quality indexes” computed on a base of different measurements.

Both, technologies commercially available and newly developed (within framework of SLOPE project) will be evaluated and possibly implemented also considering harsh operating conditions. The first set of techniques will include measurement of the log dimension (both diameters and length) and weight (of the whole tree, cut-to-length logs as well as tree residues). It will be performed by means of already available equipment installed on the forest machinery, eventually optimized for use on steep terrain, according to T3.4. The innovative set of measurement techniques (as described in the following tasks) will be validated in a dedicated research campaign located in the Italian Alps (Trentino region). All the activities of WP4 will be coordinated, in order to generate corresponding results from different techniques on the base of identical samples.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.4.1 Data mining and model integration of stand quality indicators from on-field survey for the determination of the tree “3D quality index” TREEMETRICS
T.4.2 Evaluation of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a tool for determination of log/biomass quality index in mountain forests CNR
T.4.3 Evaluation of hyperspectral imaging (HI) for the determination of log/biomass “HI quality index” BOKU
T.4.4 Data mining and model integration of log/biomass quality indicators from stress-wave (SW) measurements, for the determination of the “SW quality index” CNR
T.4.5 Evaluation of cutting process (CP) for the determination of log/biomass “CP quality index” CNR
T.4.6 Implementation of the log/biomass grading system CNR
T.4.7 Scientific coordination GRAPHITECH
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WorkPackage Title:

Forest information system development

WP Leader:

MHG

Description:

The objective of WP5 is the development of a mountain forest information system (FIS), which integrates the different data sources for the standing stock and the stock being harvested, and provides near real time access to this information. The information system will provide tools for using this data for different stages of planning, as well as in control and management of on-going operations.

The work related to the forest information system development will be based on the concept of an online enterprise resource planning system (ERP) that will provide access to the information for different kind of users, such as planners, logistic operators, brokers, end-users, and forest owners. Particular emphasis will be placed on the usability and scalability issues, so that non-expert users are able to utilize and join the system. Three types of models will be implemented to optimize and develop recommendations and guidelines for short term, mid-long term and contingency planning.

Although all models feed on similar information gathered and integrated through WP2, WP3 and WP4, the needs and objectives of each case are specific and therefore the model design and working conditions will be different.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.5.1 Database to support novel inventory data content MHG
T.5.2 Platform for near real time control of operations TREEMETRICS
T.5.3 Online purchasing/invoicing of industrial timber and biomass MHG
T.5.4 Short-term optimization: operational, ongoing and contingency planning BOKU
T.5.5 Mid-long term optimization; strategic and tactical planning MHG
T.5.6 Scientific coordination GRAPHITECH
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WorkPackage Title:

System integration

WP Leader:

GRAPHITECH

Description:

The main objective of the Work Package is to achieve a complete integration of the different components that are part of the SLOPE platform. This means ensuring that the system works properly and is ready for the field test and pilots in WP7. This WP will contain three basic System Integration phases, summarizing the validation results and providing recommendations for selected pilots of WP7. A further goal of this WP is to analyse the components of the SLOPE platform from the technical and economic point of view, composing the overall cost of the proposed working system and its benefits (economic, qualitative, social and possibly environmental) compared to the current harvesting systems in mountain forests.

The system integration phase will be mainly sub-divided into three main blocks: 1) into the first the forest inventory measurements and the harvesting measurement system will be integrated, 2) during the second the whole forest management system will be integrated and 3) finally a system validation process will be ensured. The assessment will be based on functional, performance and user experience collected feedback. The techno-economic analysis will follow the same pattern as the System Integration Phase, from which it will obtain most of the data, identifying three blocks: 1) the cost of each single element will be estimated within a range of options (e.g. cost of prototype vs. cost of industrial product) as well as an expected productivity and reliability of the operations, this phase will also provide thresholds of sustainability (minimum performances, maximum unit cost, etc.) to be addressed, 2) estimated productivity and cost of the whole system will be assessed under different scenarios (sensitive analysis) by mean of simulations models with the aim to identify bottlenecks and critical elements to be solved and 3) based on the data provided by in forest demos productivity and cost models will be developed, those will be also used for a wider system analysis comparing alternative working systems and addressing several sustainability aspects (economic, qualitative, social, environmental) by mean of multicriteria analysis. This last step will also consider the effect of EU and national politics (e.g. Due Diligence in timber trade) and the market trends on the overall benefits.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.6.1 Definition of the integration steps GRAPHITECH
T.6.2 First integration - Forest inventory & harvesting systems GRAPHITECH
T.6.3 Second integration - Forest management MHG
T.6.4 Third integration - System validation GRAPHITECH
T.6.5 Scientific coordination GRAPHITECH
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WorkPackage Title:

Piloting the SLOPE demonstrator

WP Leader:

BOKU

Description:

The objective of this WP is to execute the machine and systems development and demonstrations. Two main supply chains (whole-tree system vs. cut-to-length system) will be demonstrated in practice in three different countries (Italy, Austria, and Norway) together with the associated models implemented in various IT-systems. Another objective of this WP is to accelerate the introduction of the new technology by making it highly visible to the largest possible number of potential stakeholders during field demonstrations and trade fairs. To support the implementation of these new technologies, training-on the job stakeholders will be provided during the pilot phase through guidelines, manuals and trials. WP7 submits key reports and newsletter tests on their activities and results to WP8 for dissemination.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.7.1 Definition of evaluation methodology BOKU
T.7.2 Preparation of demonstrators CNR
T.7.3 Trials and validation cycle BOKU
T.7.4 Training on the job CNR
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WorkPackage Title:

Openness with other activities, dissemination and exploitation of results

WP Leader:

ITENE

Description:

The first aim of this work package is to achieve the widest dissemination of the technical results of the project within the membership of the consortium, the scientific community and, more important, within the European forestry and agricultural sector. In order to achieve this aim, the following objectives will are proposed:

  • Disseminate the SLOPE results broadly among stakeholders of the whole production process.
  • Ensure the visibility of SLOPE activities and results, and maximize its utilisation by the European forestry and agricultural industry (including machinery and software solutions).
  • Ensure follow up on results by the industry to create new economic activity.

Only dissemination activities necessary and related to the project may receive funding under this WP. On the other hand, a second big aim has been established in this work package: develop a committed exploitation plan in order to ensure a proper and fair exploitation of the project results, however no actual commercial exploitation and any concrete preparation thereof, as well as related activities (e.g. marketing) will be reported in this work package and under the project SLOPE in general as these activities are not eligible for EU funding.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.8.1 Dissemination planning and publication of results ITENE
T.8.2 Exploitation, business planning and IPR & licensing policies MHG
T.8.3 Contribution to standardization CNR
T.8.4 Industrial Advisory Board MHG
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WorkPackage Title:

Financial and administrative management

WP Leader:

GRAPHITECH

Description:

The main objective of WP9 is to ensure that the project goals and objectives are met in compliance with the project work plan. It will ensure high standards in terms of organization and technical development. The WP9 will include routines and ad-hoc daily activities required to manage and supervise the project and to provide guidance and advice to all partners.

The management structure will be deployed to ensure proper control over the project‘s activities. This will be based on the organization of several boards that will ensure proper implementation of the management strategy as well as adherence with administrative, financial, technical requirements. Through the tasks described below, the objective is to ensure effective tracking of the activity to ensure high-quality project results.

Tasks:

Tasks Task Name Leader
T.9.1 Administrative Project Management GRAPHITECH
T.9.2 Project coordination GRAPHITECH
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