Project News – SCHUWA

Extreme weather test – What wind speed do our pines withstand?

UGT GmbH is a part of a national working team that consisted of scientists of the Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries; IHP – Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics and Humboldt-Universität, Department of Chemistry in the project Schuwa – Protection of forests from weather extremes – Schutz des Waldes vor Umweltgefahren.


Tasks and goals of the project partners.

The project focusses on forest protection, e.g. on forest fire prevention and other risk prevention in extreme weather events. The main goal is the development of an adaptive and multifunctional networking sensor system for detection, hazard localization and classification.
A multifunctional network sensor system will be set up, tested and demonstrated in a forest near Britz, Brandenburg. The results and findings gained by this project can be helpful in numerous applications in the context of environmental monitoring, silvicultural adaptation strategies to climate change and for the reduction of forest degradation.

Equipped forest near Britz, Brandenburg. Photo credit: UGT GmbH

Last week, a field trip took place in the area under investigation to answer the following question: What wind speed do our pines withstand? In recent years, extreme weather events have occurred in Europe, and our forests have also been affected by strong storms. E.g. last year the storm Xavier, a heavy storm with hurricane gusts which moved across northern and eastern Central Europe, caused great damage.
In the tree pull experiment, a pine was equipped with many sensors. With these results, the scientists hope to obtain precise data for their climate calculation models. They want to be able to make more precise predictions about which tree species will break at which wind speeds (pulling force). In this case, the pine could withstand a pulling force of 600 kg, which corresponds to a wind speed of approximately 100 km/h.
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