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North Australia Centre for Autonomous Systems (NACAS)

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The North Australia Centre for Autonomous Systems (NACAS) conducts integrated industry-focused research into the application of autonomous systems across industries, businesses, and other sectors in northern Australia and the Asia Pacific regions. 

 Director's message  

Welcome to the North Australia Centre for Autonomous Systems.

Our team and partners are embarking on a mission to facilitate and support workforce transformation in applying autonomous systems to industries, businesses and sectors significant to northern Australia.

Within its first year of conceptualisation, NACAS has already grown into a leading autonomous systems innovation hub, embarking on the application of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems to healthcare, environmental monitoring, agriculture, and resource extraction. Our cross-disciplinary research and training team have helped transform the operational and business models of our industry and Government partners to meet the challenges of adopting and deploying Industry 4.0.

We aim to continue developing our autonomous system research ecosystem by strengthening links between research innovation and industry needs and delivering game-changing capabilities in workforces and business operations.

Professor Hamish Campbell, Centre Director

Headshot image of Hamish Campbell

 Our vision

Our mission is to enhance the lives, opportunities, prosperity, economic and environmental resilience of north Australia. This will be achieved by providing leadership in Uncrewed Autonomous Systems (UAS) research, development, application and training, and by integrating this capability across industries, businesses, and sectors important to the Northern Territory economy.

We have considerable experience working with partners across agriculture, resource extraction, defence, border security, and the rapidly expanding renewable energy sectors to deliver high impact, implementable, cost-efficient solutions to industry problems.

Drone test flight at the CDU Katherine Rural Campus


What we do

  • Create an ecosystem at CDU for autonomous system research and training that intersects cross-disciplinary research themes and projects.
  • Assist industries in northern Australia to overcome the technical, regulatory, logistical, and analytical challenges associated with incorporating Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) technologies into their core business.
  • Conduct innovative research into the application of RPAS focused on the needs of the various industries and sectors in northern Australia.
  • Train and accredit industry-ready professionals with the skills and expertise needed to rise to the transformative opportunities offered in northern Australia by industry and business with RPAS.
  • Foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and Postdoctoral Fellowships to pursue industrial training in the application of autonomous systems and associated sensors.
Industrial workers flying a drone on a worksite


Find out more about NACAS

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    Discover more about our current research projects and student opportunities. 

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    Our people

    Meet the dedicated and skilled team behind the North Australia Centre for Autonomous Systems (NACAS).

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 Contact us

If you have any questions, send us an email.

General enquiries

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