Decision Support System
The distributed nature of the beetle-kill resource and the difficult underlying topography of many forest areas present strategic challenges to bioenergy system siting. The results of Feedstock Supply (Task 1), Feedstock Logistics & Processing (Task 2), and System Performance & Sustainability (Task 3) research efforts will be combined within a publically-accessible web-based spatial Decision Support System (DSS) in order to put the state-of-the-art research results developed under the BANR project directly into the hands of the public. The DSS concept is designed to allow landowners, facility owners, researchers, or policymakers to explore the physical & economic practicality as well as the social & environmental desirability of locating a biofuel conversion system in a particular forested location, and to anticipate and manage the tradeoffs often inherent in system design.
The distributed nature of the beetle-kill resource and the difficult underlying topography of such areas present strategic challenges to the design of bioenergy systems. The results of the beetle-affected forest atlas (Task 1), the harvest logistics trials (Task 2), and the economic & environmental impact assessments (Task 3) will be combined within a publically-available web-based spatial decision support system in order to help users understand the practicality and desirability of locating such a system in a particular location. The tool will facilitate the identification of total recoverable biomass within environmental, economic, or other social constraints, and the optimal placement of facilities across the forested landscape with respect to topography and existing road networks. The DSS builds directly on project team members’ previous experience developing web-based spatial greenhouse gas assessment tools for agricultural systems, e.g. http://www.comet-farm.com/.