Project “rePLANT” at Serras do Porto Park, Novum Canal

15 de June de 2023

rePLANT, an unprecedented technological project that brings together companies, universities and research centers for the valorization and defense of the forest, presented today, at Parque das Serras do Porto, innovative technologies for the defense and management of the forest and fire.

Among them is the monitoring of the forest through optical cameras, already installed in that natural space, which help simulate and predict the behavior of fire, new digital sensors and processes for forestry machines and the use of robotics in forestry operations to clean the forests.

rePLANT, an unprecedented technological project that brings together companies, universities and research centers for the development and defense of the forest, presented, this Thursday, at the Parque das Serras do Porto, innovative technologies for the defense and management of the forest and fire.

Among the various technologies presented, this Monday, are the monitoring of the forest through optical cameras, already installed in that natural space, which help to simulate and predict the behavior of fire. New digital sensors and processes for the forestry machines and the use of robotics in forestry operations to clean the forests were also presented.

The mayor of Paredes and president of the Parque das Serras do Porto Association, Alexandre Almeida, pointed out that in the first years this association made a series of studies that pointed in the direction of a management plan for the mountains, as well as the defense of the forest against fires.

The chief stressed the importance of these technological products and innovation at the service of forest sustainability, recalling that this is a vital project that relies on several universities and companies.

The mayor recalled that in terms of optical cameras, 85% of the six thousand hectares of forest will be monitored for fire detection.

The Vice Mayor of Valongo, Ana Maria Martins Rodrigues, also highlighted the importance of this project and the technological products that were presented today for the monitoring and sustainability of the forest.

“At a time when we are faced with climate change, these projects are essential to preserve this important asset of the Sierras do Porto and promote a sustainable management of the forest”, she expressed.

Carlos Fonseca, Scientific and Technological Director of CoLAB ForestWISE, which coordinates the project together with Navigator Forest Portugal, explained that “the technologies we are presenting today are part of a range of results and products that derive from this mobilizing project that brings together the best technical and scientific knowledge of business and non-business entities that form rePLANT.

“These were three years of work for the future of the forest, with solutions that contribute to its sustainable development and to the valorization of the entire forestry value chain,” he said.

It should be noted that this project also aims to “develop the forest, make it safer and prove that people and machines can work together, creating an ecosystem of greater active protection, is the motto of rePLANT, an initiative supported by Compete/Portugal 2020, through the POCI and Lisbon 2020 programs.

rePLANT aims to have an impact on “the entire productive and business ecosystem of the forestry sector, improving the safety of populations with fire prevention and fighting systems, while reducing threats to biodiversity and increasing the resilience of the forest and infrastructures. And to innovate in the enhancement of the forest, more productive, efficient and with less risk, ensuring the competitiveness of the sector.

Support Systems for Forest Fire Monitoring

REN and the University of Coimbra installed surveillance systems on REN poles located in the territory of the Serras do Porto Park.

“Consisting of optical and thermal cameras, these systems have the function of monitoring, protecting and anticipating the impact of rural fires in the forest, providing real-time images, with information about the weather and vegetation. The scientific research will make it possible to simulate fire behavior and monitor fires, contributing to the resilience and integrity of the forest and its infrastructures,” reads the information note, which adds that good forest management practices imply the “use of monitoring tools that facilitate decision making, such as, for example, the forest inventory.

During the project “technologies were developed that enable, remotely and automatically, the collection of information from equipment associated with forestry operations.

New equipment for fuel management using robotics

INESCTEC tested the Modular-E robot in forest cleaning tasks along the plantation lines. They also performed some preliminary tests in the Parque das Serras do Porto with results that allowed drawing conclusions for the improvement of the equipment. With an accuracy of centimeter registration, this equipment has the ability to detect areas that need cleaning with a minimal margin of error. In addition, it is compact and affordable, making it a practical and economical solution for forest maintenance.

“rePLANT is structured in three major areas of operation. Forest and fire management (led by Sonae Arauco and the Instituto Superior de Agronomia of the University of Lisbon); risk management (under the coordination of REN – Redes Energ√©ticas Nacionais and the University of Coimbra); and circular economy and value chains (under the management of Navigator Forest Portugal and ForestWISE). Led by Navigator Forest Portugal, with the technical and scientific coordination of CoLAB ForestWISE, rePLANT has an investment of 5.6 million euros,” states the same information note.

In, Novum Canal, 15 May 2023 (PT)