The Swift020 UAS successfully flew over densely forested areas within the Ishikawa prefecture in Japan. Working with members of the Ishikawa Prefecture Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry, the local forest cooperative association and key forestry industry leaders, the flights were held July 23-25, 2018.
Due to the density of the trees, the size of the area, and the problematic topography, sustainable forest management can be challenging. “The beautiful forest terrain of Ishikawa is a great environment to showcase the fully autonomous capabilities of the Swift020 UAS. We were able to take off and land vertically in a small restricted area. Our ability to quickly transition to efficient horizontal flight enables us to cover a vast amount of area in a short amount of time,” said Rick Heise, President, and CSO of Swift Engineering.
Developed for these types of missions, the Swift020 has the unique ability to take off and land like a helicopter and transition to horizontal flight. This ability gives a considerable advantage over traditional quadcopters.
The forested area is home to some of the oldest cedar trees in the Ishikawa prefecture. Culling old growth is a conservation method to ensure the future and health of the environment. “In less than a 15-minute demonstration, which is barely 10% of the endurance of the Swift020 UAS, we were able to collect over 180 acres worth of high fidelity data to support sustainable harvesting plans for the forestry industry,” said Alex Echeverria, Director of Business Development for Swift Engineering. “By utilizing cutting edge data collection, analysis and reporting technologies, we are able to provide a full turn-key service model that provides our customers with the right information when they need it.”
Swift’s proprietary software suite was able to optimize the data collection of high definition imagery and provide next day 3-D imaging to identify the overall health conditions of the forest.
“We provided a 3D point cloud, 2D Geo referenced Orthomosaic imagery, as well as elevation and terrain data for the site. The imagery we provided can be easily shared among decision-makers to aid in greater collaboration across all organizations. This type of fast response and collaboration will provide forestry officials on-demand, real time actionable data to help manage resources in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” added Echeverria.
The Swift020, the first UAS featuring X-Blade Technology™, is the culmination of over 18 years of research and development in unmanned systems. The Swift020 Unmanned Air System (UAS) vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technology takes off and lands anywhere and transitions to efficient fixed-wing forward flight without additional launch and recovery equipment allowing it to reduce operational time and cost. The Swift020 UAS is a family of systems servicing linear infrastructure, oil and gas, maritime, emergency services, delivery, agriculture, scientific research, surveillance and security markets.
Swift-Xi is a Japanese joint venture by Swift Engineering, Inc. headquartered in San Clemente, California, USA and the Kobe Institute of Computing located in Kobe, Japan. Swift-Xi provides data and IT services, logistics, and full-service operations of autonomous and robotic technologies in Japan and around the world.
Swift Engineering, Inc. is an innovation company providing products, technologies and fully integrated product development solutions from ideation to market. Swift has over 30 years of design, engineering and build heritage in intelligent systems, and advanced vehicles; including autonomous systems, helicopters, submarines, spacecraft, ground vehicles, and robotics.