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JOINT STATEMENT

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones

 

As part of the government’s strategy to make Queensland the drone capital of Australia, the world’s leading minds in drone technology will converge on Brisbane for one of the largest unmanned automated vehicle conferences on the globe.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the World of Drones Congress at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this week played an important part in the government’s plan to diversify Queensland’s economy.

“Through our half-a-billion-dollar Advance Queensland fund, we’re investing in sectors like drone technology because we know this is the way of the future,” she said.

“We’re committed to diversifying Queensland’s economy to create the jobs of the future in this state. That’s exactly what we’re doing by supporting this conference.

“Queensland has some of the world’s foremost experts on drone technology. We’re working hard to position Queensland as the drone capital of Australia.

“Our work is helping us to build critical mass in artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles and will allow us to capitalise on a global industry which Goldman Sachs expects to be worth more than US$100 million by 2020.

“Collaboration is important in innovation. To have the world’s best minds in drone technology in the one place, working together with Queenslanders is invaluable.”

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the recent release of the Palaszczuk Government’s Drones Strategy – the first of its kind in Australia – would help ensure Queensland has the right policies and programs in place to back future technologies, regulate their use and create jobs.

“We’re the only state in Australia with a strategy to capitalise on the growth of this sector,” he said.

“Our highly-skilled workforce and support for platform technologies through programs like our $15 million Industry Tech Fund puts us in a very strong position.

“Local drone businesses cover a range of sectors – everything from accident investigations to surveying and farming and international companies like Terra Drone and Trumbull Unmanned.

“The Palaszczuk Government is forging ahead in this space by investing in new technology that we know will create jobs in Queensland and support our growing tech economy.”

Ms Jones said Queensland was a leader in the development and application of drone technology.

“The World of Drones Congress creates international trade opportunities for its host. For this reason, the Palaszczuk Government is providing up to $350,000 to host the Congress in Brisbane in 2018 and 2019,” she said.

“Through a new Artificial Intelligence Hub at The Precinct in Fortitude Valley and various Advance Queensland grants, we’re helping local startups like InFarm from Goondiwindi, Fly Freely from Townsville and Brisbane companies V-TOL Aerospace and Immersive Robotics to develop their technology.”

World of Drones Congress Convenor Catherine Ball said about 500 delegates would visit the conference, many from other countries, which was another sign of Queensland’s reputation in the Asia–Pacific region as a leader in drones.

“Drone technology is here and the possibilities are endless for businesses going forward, from the delivery of goods to giving the movie industry a new look, and helping our Queensland lifesavers patrol our beaches,” Dr Ball said.

“Through this conference and the innovative work of drone companies around Queensland, we can take drone applications to the next level and help many sectors explore the capabilities of these machines.”

Renowned drone experts like futurist Professor Genevieve Bell from the Australian National University and Professor Gordon Wyeth from Queensland University of Technology will lead keynote addresses across the two-day conference.

The World of Drones Congress is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 9-10 2018.

Media contact: Jack Harbour 0419 620 447

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The Financial Review in association Deloitte held the Australian Innovation Summit 2018 from 30-31 July at the Sofitel Sydney, Wentworth. Sitting to the far right, V-TOL CEO Mark Xavier participated as a guest speaker at the Summit providing personal insights addressing the topic, “Israel the Innovation Nation – what Australia should take on board”. “It was an honour to be invited by the AFR to contribute to the discussion on Israeli & Australian innovation”, says Mark.  “Israel is a unique test case that leads the innovation world in many ways. Australia can learn much from the mindset of its people,” he continued.      

 

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Operating in RAAF Amberley controlled airspace under NOTAM, a V-TOL Seeker WeatherSat™ Multi-Rotor (MR) RPAS platform has been successfully flight tested to 8,000ft AMSL. The WeatherSat™ is a reusable scientific instrument designed to capture real-time weather modelling information that will be used for enabling NearSat HALE operations. CEO of V-TOL, Mark Xavier says, “The WeatherSat™ sensor designed by NearSat will provide V-TOL & NearSat critical weather information required to conduct safe & efficient high altitude RPAS operations. V-TOL & NearSat look forward to further testing the WeatherSat™ capability in our efforts to reach near-space with a NearSat fixed wing platform.

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Mounted to a V-TOL Seeker II Multi-Rotor (MR) RPAS platform, a NearSat proto-type WeatherSat™ has been successfully flight tested. The WeatherSat™ Seeker is a reusable scientific instrument designed to capture real-time weather modelling information. CEO of V-TOL, Mark Xavier says, “The Seeker WeatherSat™ will provide V-TOL & NearSat critical weather information required to conduct safe & efficient high altitude NearSat RPAS operations. We look forward to testing the WeatherSat™ capability to altitude shortly”.

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The Financial Review in association Deloitte will be holding the Australian Innovation Summit 2018 from 30-31 July at the Sofitel Sydney, Wentworth. A copy of the Agenda is attached. CEO/MD of V-TOL, Mark Xavier, has been invited to be a panel member on Insights & Interview addressing the topic, “Israel the Innovation Nation – what Australia should take on board”. “I look forward to participating on the Summit panel and sharing my experiences and opinions on why the Israelis have excelled in technological innovation”, says Mark.

AFR Innovation Summit Agenda

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Working for the World Bank on Project UAV4Resilience and with the assistance of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT), V-TOL Aerospace was placed in a unique position to conduct advanced hi-resolution survey operations using V-TOL designed & manufactured GosHawk II drone technology over the Kingdom of Tonga before (2017) and after the category 4 cyclone Gita event (Feb 18).  The Gita survey was safely completed in 5 days resulting in 300km² of hi-resolution survey data while operating in integrated/shared airspace. The World Bank has reported that this type of drone operation has never been conducted to this extent under these conditions before.

 

The following provides a sample and insight into what can now be provided as a disaster management & recovery “tool” for first responders in the field, NGOs, Government Agencies, the public, Insurance &  Banking organisations, etc, in a matter of days:

 

 

*Please note, you will need Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to enable your browser to operate the interactive map slider

 

V-TOL VEURON™, a technology developed with the support of the QLD Government’s Advance QLD initiative, is V-TOL’s onboard robot machine vision & learning Aa (Advanced Automation) & Ai (Artificial Intelligence) capability.  An example of how the VEURON™ technology will automate damage assessment reporting will be made available shortly.

 

V-TOL’s air deployable survey teams have demonstrated how an effective Disaster Management & Recovery capability can now be delivered in a matter of days in most locations globally. In collaboration with technology partner NearSat, V-TOL believes this capability can potentially be delivered anywhere within hours.

 

For Further information please contact us at info@v-tol.com

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Cyclone Gita

Category 4 Cyclone Gita hit Tonga in February this year with winds up to 233km/h. Gita was reported as the worst cyclone to pass so close to Tonga in 60 years causing widespread and severe damage. Emergency response teams struggled to assess damage around the capital on the main Island of Tongatapu. As a result, the Brisbane based V-TOL Aerospace Disaster Response Team was deployed by the World Bank with the support of the Australian Government with their GosHawk II UAVs to survey the Tongatapu Island Group. The GosHawk UAVs were launched from the Fua’amotu International Airport to map the main island as rapidly as possible.

 

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ADS-B mandatory for unrestricted Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcasting (ADS-B) was mandatory for the unrestricted integrated BVLOS operations during the Gita Response. The uAvionix ping20s transponder and FYXnav-B GPS ADS-B solution installed on the GosHawk facilitated real-time monitoring by Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Fua’amotu International Airport Tonga, the V-TOL team on Tonga, V-TOL HQ in Brisbane, commercial jets and Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. The ADS-B output was used by ATC as the primary means of separating commercial aircraft movements from the uAvionix ADS-B equipped UAVs when operating BVLOS from the tower.

 

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2,500km of survey operations were flown 1000ft AMSL in just 5 days

At the completion of flight operations conducted by V-TOL:

  • 100% of Tongatapu was imaged (approximately 300km²)
  • 2,500km of BVLOS survey operations were flown 1000ft AMSL
  • 15km BVLOS range was reached from the V-TOL Team
  • 500GB of data was collected and processed

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With over 2,600km of RPAS operations at or above 1000ft AMSL over Tongatapu under Part 102 regulations, V-TOL has now achieved under Part 101, CASA & RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) approval for day and night BVLOS operations above 400ft AGL  in RAAF controlled airspace at Marburg, Australia. “V-TOL will use this opportunity to further industry’s move towards demonstrating safe advanced RPAS operations in the Australian National Airspace on a regular basis”, says V-TOL CEO Mark Xavier. 

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The World Bank and V-TOL Aerospace are using drones to support the government of Tonga in its Rapid Damage Assessment after Cyclone Gita.

A fleet of V-TOL Aerospace’s drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, has been transported to Tonga with the support of the Australian government.

The Pacific regional representative for the World Bank, Michel Kerf, said the drones were being used to map the damage wreaked by Gita.

According to him, the mapping will be crucial to helping Tonga’s government determine priority areas for recovery and reconstruction.

Tonga has received a payout of more than US$3.5 mill from the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company.

It is the first payout made by the region’s first catastrophe risk insurance platform established in 2016.

The company falls under the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative which is a joint effort of the World Bank, the Asian Development and the Pacific Community with the financial support from Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

As well as the World Bank, governments of Australia and New Zealand, the ADB, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, European Union and United Nations Development Programme are helping Tongan authorities to identify priority sectors for the rapid damage assessment.

These sectors include housing, agriculture and energy.

*Original article without amendment can be found:

https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/351014/drones-help-tonga-s-cyclone-damage-assessment