Water Week

EWN Publishing

Model planes go mainstream: add a video camera and find powerline breaks, survey wildlife, manage crops

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

Unmanned aircraft developed for military uses were being considered for civilian government applications, including pinpointing remote area powerline breaks, surveying fish and wildlife, monitoring stock movements, managing crops and fighting bushfires, wrote Christopher Jay in The Australian Financial Review (28/9/2007, p.71).

Search and rescue exercise: Queensland this week hosted a search and rescue exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday at Kingaroy Airport. Teams in the inaugural unmanned aerial vehicle challenge outback rescue competition were judged on their technical and engineering skills, as well as piloting prowess. Winners shared $60,000 in prize money. “The competition consists of two … challenge days – one for high school students and one for uni students and enthusiasts,” said the Queensland Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry, Desley Boyle. “Competitors in both competitions have to mount an outback rescue mission, where they drop emergency supplies to someone lost in the bush.”

Lots of support: Supporters of the event included the Queensland Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry, the joint QUT-CSIRO Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation, Boeing Australia and the US-based Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Professor Rod Walker of the Queensland University of Technology-CSIRO joint centre said unmanned aerial vehicles were a natural integration of information and communications technology into aviation.

The Australian Financial Review, 28/9/2007, p. 71

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