State government gears up for autonomous RPAS mapping

By on 23 January, 2017

Insitu’s ScanEagle RPAS ready for launch to perform BVLOS surveys.

A new tender from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning looks to unlock the potential of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS, also known as drones or UAV) for advanced environmental analysis.

The government tender notice, dated 18 January, calls on RPAS operators to join a panel of providers for a range of advanced operations involving beyond visual line of site (BVLOS) operations in the Australian state of Victoria. One of the first major BVLOS operations to receive CASA approval in
Australia was a 2016 project by Insitu Pacific and Queensland Gas Company’s to use RPAS to inspect gas wells, pipelines and processing facilities across Queensland.

Now, in one of the biggest projects of its kind, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) specifically requested ‘endurance’ RPAS that can operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), at high altitude above 400 feet (122 meters) for more than four hours of continuous flight.

The RPAS are anticipated to use geographically referenced and orthorectified images and videos in the visible, infra-red and thermal spectrum. DELWP have also listed the need for geographic tagging objects of interest, LiDAR data and photomosaic imagery.

Among many applications, the DELWP are seeking these services to acquire accurate localised weather information, monitor bushfires, identify and asses hazardous trees, manage roads, monitor feral animals, protect endangered species and monitor coastal erosion.

This tender was featured on the comprehensive Spatial Source tender listing. To access the Spatial Source tender listing, simply subscribe to the free weekly Spatial Source newsletter and click on the green tenders icon each week.

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