“Enabling Safe and compliant UAV/RPAS Operations in Local Government”
The Australian Unmanned Systems Academy (AUSA), in partnership with CASA under its Safety Promotion Sponsorship program, is preparing to run a two (2) day conference and workshop in early September 2014, in SE QLD.
An optional flying day is also offered to expose interested delegates in how live operations should work in the hands of experts. This conference has been specifically tailored for Australian local government organizations.
Small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), commonly referred to as drones or UAVs, are now becoming available to local government as either an organic capability or purchased service to solve the geospatial business needs of councils. The cost benefits are significant if a safe and compliant business strategy is employed.
In the right hands, RPA can be an effective business tool for routine & emergency local government business operations. In the wrong hands, they can be an unpredictable risk to the community and the organisation that employs them.
This unique conference is supported by practical workshops and an optional in the field UAV flying demonstration activity. The program has been specifically designed to inform Local Government on how these technologies can be safely acquired and delivered to provide a significant cost benefits to council.
By attending this conference, you will have the necessary knowledge to employ this technology in the daily activities of local government in an effective, safe and compliant operation.
AUSA is the education and training organisation of V-TOL Aerospace Pty Limited UOC: 1-31RFZ-05
Surf lifesavers, police, fire fighters and rescue workers across Australia and around the world could benefit from new unmanned surveillance technology developed in Brisbane, after the signing of an agreement today.
Brisbane-based air, ground and marine robotics company V-TOL Aerospace will manufacture a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed by researchers at The University of Queensland.
The UAV, designed by Dr Paul Pounds from UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, could replace piloted helicopters in search and rescue or surveillance operations for a fraction of the cost, with reduced maintenance and risk to people.
Dr Pounds said his unique design for a new type of quadrotor UAV – a helicopter lifted and propelled by four independent propellers – was more agile, responsive and energy efficient than existing quadrotor designs.
“It combines the aerodynamic efficiency of a helicopter with the simplicity and robustness of a quadrotor,” he said.
“I’m excited to be able to work with V-TOL Aerospace to take this technology out of the lab and into the field, where I believe it will prove to be the ideal platform for police and emergency responders.”
V-TOL Aerospace Managing Director Mr Mark Xavier said the company was ready to take the UAV to the global market.
“V-TOL will develop not only the product, but the regulator-approved training and support services required to make this product Civil Aviation Safety Authority compliant,” he said.
“This will make it very attractive for export.”
Science and Innovation Minister Ian Walker has welcomed the agreement. “It once again demonstrates Queensland’s growing reputation as a major hub for UAV research and development in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Walker said. “I think what we’ve got right with UAV technology development in Queensland is the strong relationship we have between industry and research and the V-TOL and UQ agreement is a great example of that.”
UQ commercialisation company UniQuest today signed an agreement licensing intellectual property for the design to V-TOL.
UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the agreement reflected the value of UQ’s and UniQuest’s industry engagement strategy.
“This agreement is an excellent example of research and industry coming together to deliver tangible benefit for the community,” Dr Moss said.
Mr Xavier said V-TOL Aerospace recognised the broader value of the agreement.
“This relationship is a significant opportunity to demonstrate how local industry can work closely with Queensland’s premier academic and research institution to develop an innovative hi-tech product in an emerging global industry,” he said.
Media: UQ – Madelene Flanagan 07 3365 8525, UniQuest – Nicole Cowan 07 3365 4037 and V-TOL and AUSA – Mr Mark Xavier 07 3275 2811.
Australian Unmanned Systems Academy as the education and training organization of the V-TOL Group will develop and deliver the CASA approved OEM Pilot and technical training package to support this future product.
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Further to the incident in which a competitor in the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Geraldton, Western Australia, was injured by a UAS, the organisers have released the following statement:
In relation to the incident that occurred on the 6th of April 2014 involving Endure Batavia Triathlon competitor Raija Ogden and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the Geraldton Triathlon Association wish to state that their investigations into the incident is still in its preliminary stages.
Whilst the Association’s investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this point, it has become apparent to the Association that there is speculation as to whether the operators of the UAV, namely New Era Film & Photography, may or may not hold the appropriate operator’s certification as required by the governing body, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The Geraldton Triathlon Association wishes to state that New Era Film & Photography were engaged to undertake the aerial filming of the event on an in-kind sponsorship basis, with a payment of $300 being paid to New Era to cover some of their associated costs for operating the UAV on the day.
President of the Geraldton Triathlon Association, Simon Teakle, said New Era Film & Photography were engaged on a sponsorship basis on the understanding that they held the appropriate licenses or certifications required for operating a UAV and that New Era were obtaining whatever permits were required to operate the UAV for the event.
The Association further wishes to state that it does not have the expertise to comment on whether New Era Film & Photography do in fact hold the appropriate certification or licenses required by CASA, and this matter is for the appropriate authorities to address as part of their investigation into the incident.
Mr Teakle said the operation of the UAV and the height at which the UAV was flown on the day of the event was at the direction of New Era Film & Photography.
“I would like to reiterate that New Era were engaged to conduct the aerial filming on the understanding that they were qualified and therefore were compliant with the rules and regulations around the safe operation of UAV’s.”
Mr Teakle said the Association prides itself on a strong track record of safety in relation to the Endure Batavia Triathlon event.
“In the three years the event has been running, there has never been an injury or accident occur and the Association goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of its competitors across every aspect of the race,” he said.
Mr Teakle said that prior to engaging New Era Film & Photography, the UAV operators stated to the Geraldton Triathlon Association that it was qualified and certified to operate the UAV. On that understanding, New Era Film & Photography were engaged to undertake the aerial filming of the race.
Mr Teakle said that safety is paramount in every event and race the Association holds.
“Safety is and always has been paramount with every race the Geraldton Triathlon Association conducts and the Association would never engage the services of any contractor if they were known or believed to be unqualified or uncertified to perform their service,” he said.
As the Association’s investigations into the incident are still ongoing, the Association are yet to obtain or view any video footage taken from the incident. The Association expects to publish a Preliminary Investigation report as soon as possible.
The Australian Unmanned Systems Academy (AUSA) in conjunction with V-TOL Aerospace has commenced a test program designed to introduce VLOS multi-RPAS operations. AUSA is developing training programs to qualify RPAS Pilots and RPAS crew members, such as RPAS Observers and Mission Commanders, in multi-RPAS operations using the V-TOL Condor neuron© RPAS. This capability will also provide RPAS crews important training in CRM and mission planning.
“The aim of this program is to demonstrate how multiple small RPAS can safely operate from the same launch and recovery site,” said Mark Xavier Chief Pilot of V-TOL Aerospace. He continued, “I expect that the methods and procedures we adopt will mirror manned aircraft operations at aerodromes”.
The test program will be conducted using V-TOL’s RPAS neuron© hardware in-the-loop simulator software that can now display multiple RPAS flight data in real-time on all active neuron© Remote Pilot Stations (RPS). This capability provides V-TOL neuron© RPAS Pilots, Observers and Mission Commanders similar situational awareness information that ADS-B now offers manned pilots & air traffic controllers.
Test serials will be flown at V-TOL’s launch and recovery site at Marburg using multiple V-TOL Condor neuron© RPA, our CASA approved RPAS training system.
About: AUSA is the education and training organization of V-TOL Aerospace holder of CASA issued UAV Operator’s Certificate 1-31RFZ-05.
The first step in creating a sustainable remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) commercial industry is to deliver a relevant and effective RPAS pilot’s course.
V-TOL Aerospace through its education and training organization the Australian Unmanned Systems Academy (AUSA) has been delivering the CASA Approved Basic RPAS Pilot Certificate Course in accordance with its UAV Operator’s Certificate 1-31RFZ-05 since June 2013.
V-TOL and AUSA expect to offer more advanced courses shortly that will add to the qualifications an RPAS pilot can gain to enable extended operations and increased career pathway opportunities.
“Effective training is the basic building block for growing a consistent understanding of how safe operations are to be conducted in our airspace,” said Mark Xavier CEO of V-TOL Aerospace.
“This remains a constant from the individual owner operator through to a global corporation such as Rio Tinto,” he continued.
“We have had students with no previous aviation experience gaining their qualification under the CASA Approved RPAS Certificate course during the 2 week period. Since mid-2013 we have completed and graduated eight (8) courses that have included a mix of international students and are currently running our ninth course at Marburg,” said Frank Martin CEO of AUSA.