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    02 Sep 2014 
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Last Update: 06 Feb 2014

SATMODO


   

Objectives

The SATMODO project is aimed specifically at the round-wood timber harvesting market, by facilitating ”live”  monitoring of harvest processes. To date the SATMODO project addressed current harvesting issues in remote areas  by utilizing both cellular and satellite transmission technology as a means of providing data transmission pathways for the live harvest data from the Harvester Machine. The SATMODO project has been extended to facilitate the “live” monitoring of the work progress and security of the Forest Forwarder machine. This system will help assist in more efficient and better management of the forest resources by offering an end-to-end solution from forest to supplier. The new security sensor system is also being developed to offer a practical solution to monitoring the interference of forwarder vehicles in remote locations.


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The project objectives are to improve the management of timber harvesting for both forest owners and harvest machine operators by improving the links with the supply chain. Forest harvest machines are monitored in real-time or near real-time using satellite and cellular networks providing information back onto a central web platform. This information can help reduce waste and ensure the right proportion of logs are harvested by allowing individual machines or groups of machines to be monitored. An in-vehicle device is installed in each harvest vehicle also facilitating in-vehicle mapping (boundaries & hazards) for the machine operator.
 
In the current phase of the project, forest forwarding machines are being monitored in real-time or near real-time using the same techniques as the harvesting machine. This information can further help increase efficiency by ensuring the flow of logs is monitored for pick up by timber trucks. It will also help to manage and ensure the right logs are forwarded to the best locations. An in-vehicle device will be installed in each forwarder vehicle which will also facilitate in-vehicle mapping and positioning of boundaries and hazards for the machine operator. The added security features will provide timely alerts to owners/managers of interference with machines in remote locations.

Features

The features developed to date include:
 
Production Monitoring: 
  • Live production monitoring to help with harvest planning and that the correct quantities of log types are harvested. 
Multiple User Platform: 
  • The live data can be shared between users to enable efficient transfer of data and improve efficiencies. E.g. the machine owner can share the data with the forest owner and harvest manager who can then share the data with the timber purchaser (sawmill).
Integration with TLS (terrestrial laser scanning) forest inventory system: 
  • The system is fully integrated with TreeMetrics TLS forest inventory system to improve log product volume return efficiency therefore protecting forest value. 
Post Harvest Returns:
  • The position and production data from the machine can provide inventory returns such as number of trees and volume cut. This can enable better management of the resource post harvest operation. 
Integration Between Various Machine Type Manufacturers: 
  • The system can work with multiple machine types and deliver comparable  production data. 
The SATMODO system currently consists of the following elements:  
  • A full web-integrated remote harvest machine management tool
  • An in-vehicle hybrid Satellite/GPRS data communications device for use in remote forest locations
  • Real-time or near real-time data connectivity
  • Data compression over satellite terrestrial networks
  • A GPS tracker on monitored vehicles
  • An interface to the  on-board computers on cut-to-length harvest machines
This stage in the SATMODO project will aim on the development of the following; 
  • A web-integrated remote administration and reporting management interface
  • A GPS location device /tracker and mapper to aid management in improving efficiency and security.
  • A forwarder machine tracking device
  • Added security Features using sensor alarm technology
  • Security sensors to provide timely alerts to owners of interference with machines.
  • Changes to the In-Vehicle Device (IVD)
  • Adaptation to the power supply to provide continuous power to the single board computer
  • Changes to the Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) to allow users to manage forwarder machines activities
  • System database and communications server development: Current SQL and Mongo databases shall be modified to cope with the new features demanded by the integration of forwarders

Project Plan

The new developments will last for additional 12 month. The project will have a 2 month pilot phase in which 6 forwarder machines will have the enhanced SATMODO on-board to validate the system performance.

Challenges

  • Efficient product installation and deployment 
  • Building confidence in hardware performance including the new security sensors
  • Demonstrating the software performance and server performance to the users
  •  Developing a quality service and excellent performance reports

Benefits

The main benefits of SATMODO are:
  • Help reduce time and inefficient harvesting and forwarding of wood.
  • Users ability to monitor their entire production.
  • Recording of delivery locations of multiple log types to various roadside locations for transport pick up and improved security
  • Improve efficiency due to the proper management and monitoring of progress.
  • Reductions of production costs due to the improvement of the timber/log product supply chain.

Current Status (dated: 05 Feb 2014)

The initial SATMODO harvesting machine project is completed.
The harvesting machine pilot stage successfully demonstrated the following,
 
A.   Monitoring of cut to length harvest machines in real-time or near-real time in order to collect “live” harvest activity data from them
B.   That there is a valid business case for the SATMODO system through the delivery of improved  harvest management and process control
C.   That SATMODO performs satisfactorily in the delivery, processing and presentation of data derived from the harvesting process from any forest location using satellite and GPRS data transfer

The project extension to the forwarder machines commenced in July 2013 and the Critical Design Review (CDR) was successfully completed in December 2013.


Last Update: 06 Feb 2014
 
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