Issue 4
Monday, 03 June 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Education Lecturer Dr Farha Sattar tests a UAV at Darwin’s Dripstone Cliffs. CDU researchers are making a bid for a centre of knowledge in the use of drones in science
Education Lecturer Dr Farha Sattar tests a UAV at Darwin’s Dripstone Cliffs. CDU researchers are making a bid for a centre of knowledge in the use of drones in science

Researchers want national hub for drones in NT

By Danielle Lee-Ryder

CDU researchers are investigating setting up a Remote Pilot System Services Research and Training Centre at Casuarina campus.

Leading the bid is Associate Professor Hamish Campbell, who recently held a workshop with government, defence, industry and university representatives to assess viability and interest.

Dr Campbell, who is from the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, said there was an urgent need for the centre because there was little sharing of knowledge and practices and a lack of industry-ready trained professionals.

“This centre would foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and Postdoctoral Fellows to pursue industrial training in the application of drones,” he said.

“It would also develop and deliver nationally accredited courses through the VET schools.

“It’s only early days, but there was consensus that a national centre like this is urgently required, and that Darwin would be an ideal place for it to be located.”

Dr Campbell said the emerging global market for industries using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technologies was valued at more than $127 billion.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for CDU to be a key player in the UAV industry,” he said.

“This technology has transformed a number of industries and has great potential in areas such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture and government.

“Some of its applications, particularly if it’s based in Northern Australia, could be border protection, natural disaster response, and health service delivery to remote communities.”

Dr Campbell said it would ensure Australia became a permanent hub for research into the application and services provided by UAVs for the Asia-Pacific region.