Performing an automatic timber assessment during cable yarding operations: results from an experimental cable yarding system
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This paper describes the approach that was followed, the development and the application of a new ICT solution for the operational monitoring in forestry activities. The goal of this new idea was to assess the weight of the biomass transported during the inhaul in cable logging operations. The present approach can be considered as a Precision Forestry application and once embedded with other ICT equipment can performs assessments about the productivity of logging operations. A simplified experimental in-scale cable logging system has been designed and installed in order to test the approach. An “S” load cell and an inclinometer have been used as main sensors and they have been installed between the carriage and the hook and on the choker, respectively. The two sensors have measured the variations in terms of load’s weight and choker’s angles during the inhaul due to the soil profile the friction the point of hook from the top. Indeed the choker has been hooked, from the top end, at 2%, 5%, 10% and 20% of the total length of the log, in order to study how the part above the tying influences the weight assessment. The synchronization between the two sensors permitted to detect, time by time, which was the component of the timber’s weight discharged to the ground and the component held by the carriage during the travels. Adding those components the assessment of the entire transported load was performed. The preliminary overview of the study has permitted to obtain good correlation values (R2 > 0,9) when the comparison between the estimated weight with the real one has been done. Averaging, the difference between those weights, considering the different distances of hooking, has ranged between 0 and 5% (in absolute terms) of the total weight of the sample. In conclusion, the use of these ITC devices can be considered as valid tools for the operative monitoring for the cable yarding activities.