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Take a quick look through what we've been up to and what we're finding interesting IN THE WORLD OF UAV's and Remote sensing.

Uaviation launches its new asset inspection UAV

Uaviation's robotics engineers designed and constructed a new unique remotely piloted aircraft.

Equipped with a revolutionary new positioning system that uses ten sonars and ten 3D cameras to "sense and avoid" obstacles. It has been built to inspect hard-to-reach locations like bridges, overpasses and coal conveyors. It can hover in place just centimeters from an obstacle (all withour GPS) while it carefully surveys and inspects

This UAV sports an upward-facing camera and gimbal and live HD broadcast to the ground so engineers can pick and choose what they are looking at.

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Racing NSW article in Sydney Morning Herald

Racing NSW stewards are hoping to use a drone to provide overhead video footage, usually only available during carnival time, at every meeting within a year. Racing NSW deputy chairman of stewards Marc Van Gestel has been working on the project for several months and a drone, operated by Uaviation, was used at a recent set of Rosehill barrier trials, delivering incredible results. Approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is the main sticking point before the system can be introduced.

The helicopter shot used at carnivals gives a great indication where horses are in running and has sunk many jockeys' defence of careless riding charges. It has been too expensive to use at all meetings, however the drone makes it feasible to be introduced at every event.

"The camera in the drone is highest HD quality and can be time-coded like all the vision of races," Van Gestel said. "It is very clear and because it only flies 30 or 40 metres above the field it is actually a better shot than the chopper.

"The drone follows the field and the riders didn't even know it was there when we trialled it. The [overhead] shot is a great tool for stewards and if this works it could be used at country as well as city tracks and add to the safety of those meetings.

"We have to work with CASA and put in flight plans, which is the main part of the detail. We will continue to use it at barrier trials to make sure we are getting the right footage before using it on raceday."

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Uaviation completes testing of its new thermal imaging UAV

Uaviation has completed testing of its new thermal imaging drone. Sporting the highest quality radiometric thermal camera, and a separate visual camera, the UAV is capable of recording over 2 million seperate temperature readings each second.

The platform will be used to extend Uaviation's asset inspection services to new clients. Services include underground leak detection, friction and wear detection, insulation and photvoltaic cell inspection.

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The need for speed?

Rob Eldridge pieced together this new video showreel to demonstrate his team's skills in capturing fast-moving action sequences. Based in New South Wales, Rob, Mel and Tom specialise in professional aerial photography and aerial video.

Rob loves flying the DJI inspire with a second operator controlling the gimbal and camera. It is capable of capturing 4k HD video and still images smultaneously. The team also fly the larger S1000 platform - a 1000mm octocopter that lifts Canon 5D Mark III that produces cinema-quality images.

View the full video on You Tube here.

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More news about the news

Rove McManus and CHANNEL 10's 'The Project' team were supported by Jorden Bethune flying a DJI Phantom. The article was about the proliferation of drones being used by amateurs to capture bird's-eye video. The objective was to demonstrate the capabilities of a simple $1000 drone.

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Unmanned aircraft and privacy

Uaviation was interviewed by CHANNEL 9 News about privacy and drones. The interview followed the accidental filming by a real-estate drone of an adjacent property owner sunbathing. Our Chief Controller - Nigel Brown outlined the regulation and laws that govern both private and commercial use of drones

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Australia has an opportunity to create a world leading privacy regime for the effective management of unmanned aircraft flown for commercial purposes according to the Australian Certified UAV Operators Association (ACUO), the main national body for the emerging industry.

An ACUO submission last Friday to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs outlines a proposed four tier architecture for the development of effective privacy controls that protect individual human rights while still facilitating industry growth. The ACUO submission was well received by the ministers.

The proposed approach would see Australia’s existing Privacy Act and other extant national laws undergo minor modification to recognise that imagery, the primary output of unmanned aircraft used for commercial purposes, needs to be accorded the same status as data. This issue has been loosely explored by the Australian Law Reform Commission in past examinations of privacy law but remains unaddressed at the legislative level.

The second layer of the system would be to use existing Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations controlling the use of unmanned aircraft in commercial applications to be strictly monitored and where necessary enforced. Existing CASA regulations do not contain privacy provisions nor is this appropriate; however those same regulations effectively act to provide geo-fences where commercial unmanned aircraft are not allowed to operate. Geographic separation of commercial unmanned aircraft from direct human activities will be a major factor in ensuring privacy breaches do not arise in the first instance.

ACUO believes that the greatest risk of privacy breaches caused by commercial unmanned aircraft will be where illegal operators, who do not hold CASA certification, choose to fly and film regardless of consequence. ACUO holds that CASA needs to take a firm approach to illegal operators and prosecute swiftly to ensure the social licence of the Australian unmanned aircraft industry is not destroyed while the industry remains in its growth phase.

The third layer of the system would be the utilisation of existing State and Territory Laws , particularly those which deal with prowler type activities. ACUO notes that the Federal Attorney General last year asked all State and Territory Governments to review the status of their laws, as potentially applied to commercial unmanned aircraft operations, and welcomes this effort to ‘sharpen’ existing law. However ACUO notes that there is little dialogue between State and Territory governments and the unmanned aircraft industry as part of this review process and urges meaningful steps be taken to counter this situation lest unworkable legislative proposals emerge to the detriment of not only the industry but also the overall Australian privacy law framework as now exists.

The final layer of the system would be the adoption of the Australian Privacy Commissioner’s ‘Privacy Impact Assessment’ process as a standard element of operational planning and mission execution by certified unmanned aircraft operators. ACUO holds that privacy should be accorded respect as part of basic airmanship and accepts that there is an obligation on the industry to ensure it achieves its commercial objectives with due consideration of community concerns.

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We are proud to announce our inclusion as members of Australia's peak body for unmanned aircraft. Managing Director Mr Nigel Brown said; " We are honoured to join ACUO and look forward to actively participating with this peak body." The ACUO is taking a leading position in representing the interests of certified commercial operators in regulation. The primary objectives of the organisation are to:

  • Continually improve the standards of unmanned aviation for commercial purposes whilst promoting and maintaining a sound regulatory framework in which to do so
  • Foster, encourage and continually improve the safe and responsible flight activities of commercial unmanned aircraft within aneasily accessible and low cost environment
  • Encourage the formation and growth of development of unmanned aviation controllers, and to provide the guidance and training impetus for inexperienced controllers and new entrants to the industry.

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