Drones – also known as multicopters or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) – are one of the most important innovations of recent years. In the acquisition of remote sensing data, drones rival helicopters, planes and satellites. However, unlike their conventional counterparts, drones are much easier to deploy and cheaper to run. They are also a lot more versatile. For instance, because they can fly at lower altitudes, drones can be operated in a wider range of weather conditions.

The forestry industry has recognized the enormous potential of this technology, as have other parts of the wood industry, including ordinary carpenters.

In the forestry industry, drones have taken on many functions that were once performed by conventional means, such as forestry inventory and mapping. High-performance cameras and software are continually opening up further applications, such as timber stock assessment, windthrow assessment, pest monitoring, and log stack measurement to calculate exact timber volumes. Drones can also supply high-quality images of game damage, document plant growth via infrared technology and measure biomass production. In harvesting operations on steep terrain they can assist in the planning of log haul routes.

Carpenters and roofers have also discovered the benefits of UAVs, for instance when it comes to inspecting roofs and facades. Professional drone services can significantly reduce labor costs, boost productivity and help prevent environmental damage.

LIGNA 2017 will showcase all the latest drone, camera and software systems. At a special display on the open-air site, the German Forestry Council (KFW) will provide additional coverage of this exciting new topic, including rules and regulations for drone operations and the latest technological developments. Dubbed "Drones in the forestry industry – a revolution in our woods," the display will also feature daily information events.

Industry professionals with an interest in drone systems and the diverse opportunities they bring will find all the answers they need in Hannover. From 22 to 26 May 2017, LIGNA will provide unparalleled coverage of the full range of technologies relevant to the forestry and timber industries, including the latest innovative sensation - drones.