For many Pacific Island countries, natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis, are an all-too common occurrence. Out of the top 15 most at-risk countries for natural disasters globally, four are Pacific Island countries, and Vanuatu is consistently at the top.
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Working with Hitachi on an MLA beef project, V-TOL Aerospace conducted an endurance flight in central QLD of a standard V-TOL GosHawk II Fixed Wing RPAS. The aim was to establish how far a V-TOL manufactured small RPA could fly. Operating at the edge of Day VLOS in light conditions at 400ft AGL, the GosHawk covered 151km in 2.35 hours. It is estimated that if the GosHawk had been permitted to operate beyond its reserve, it could have achieved a distance of up to 170km. “The V-TOL GosHawk II is a small (< 4kg) RPA, but has demonstrated it can fly a significant distance. Capable of being fitted with ADS-B and other UTM sense & avoid devices, it is capable of over the horizon BVLOS day & night operations. The GosHawk is the type of small hi-tech technology package that can deliver the commercial productivity gains required across Australia’s core industries,” said Mark Xavier CEO & Chief Pilot of V-TOL.
Working with uAvIonix, V-TOL Aerospace has successfully conducted ADS-B BVLOS flight operations in YAMB RAAF Airspace using a Ping20s. A V-TOL GosHawk II Fixed Wing RPAS was used and is seen as registration GOH009. Operating independently of V-TOL NEURON, both data feeds from the Ping & NEURON produced identical flight tracks in real-time. “We hope that on-going trials & demonstrations like this will progress the professional end of the industry in this country,” said Mark Xavier Chief Pilot of V-TOL.
Working closely with the World Bank Project Team, Pacific Air Services Organisation, Civil Aviation Department Tonga, & Civil Aviation Authority Fiji, V-TOL Aerospace has successfully completed the Five (5) comprehensive RPAS Flight Operation Activities & Data Processing jobs for UAV4Resiliance. Additional work was also conducted for the Government of Tonga, at the request of the Nation’s PM. The enclosed map of the main Island of Nuku’alofa shows where many of V-TOL aircraft operations occurred during the Tongan program. Each aircraft ‘icon’ indicates where a V-TOL Aircraft became active and or launched into the Tongan National Airspace. 1000s of km were flown during the BVLOS > 1000ft AGL operations including inter Island activities.
V-TOL & the World Bank Project Team will now spend the next several months developing activity reports preparing for workshops that will result from the findings and recommendations of the in-field work.
“The aim was to test how safely, rapidly and effectively a fly-in emergency RPAS response team can conduct large area hi-res surveys of Islands hit by a natural disaster,” says Mark Xavier CEO of V-TOL. “I believe the aims of the activities were achieved. We look forward to investigating how similar advanced RPAS operations can occur routinely in the Australian National Airspace where significant productivity gains can be made in our ‘core’ economic industries,” he continued.
The Australian Unmanned Systems Academy (AUSA), the Education & Training Arm of V-TOL Aerospace, has achieved its Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO) number 45260. AUSA designated as RTO 45260, will now commence delivering & developing Certificate level courses in addition to its CASA Approved Remote Pilot License (RePL) courses to advance and enhance the career pathways for those wishing to enter the rapidly emerging global robotics & automation industry.
“AUSA was the first Australian company to deliver the CASA Approved RPAS Pilot Certificate Course & is now qualified to add RTO level Certificate Courses to its offerings,” says Frank Martin, CEO of AUSA. “Our secret is the significant benefit of having open access to parent company V-TOL Aerospace’s design, manufacturing & operational experience which enables us to test & develop effective training outcomes”, says Frank. “I’m extremely positive that the original vision we had for the Academy is now coming to fruition”, says Mark Xavier, CEO & a Founding Director of V-TOL. He continued, “Our aim is to synergistically link professional teaching to applied learning for commercial real-world outcomes.”
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Working with the World Bank & operating in accordance with its Part 102 CAD Tonga issued Unmanned Aircraft (AU) Operator’s Certificate CAD/UAOC/01/17, Chief Pilot & CEO Mark Xavier, monitors live operations from the V-TOL Australian Head Office, in Brisbane.
A V-TOL manufactured GosHawk II Fixed Wing Surveyor aircraft is seen in real-time operating Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) at 1000ft AGL over the western end of Nuku’alofa Island, in the Kingdom of Tonga.
V-TOL Part 102 appointed Deputy Chief Pilot & project mission commander Andrew Rieker, is currently leading multi-aircraft BVLOS operations across the main Island of Nuku’alofa. In addition to standard risk mitigation, separation of V-TOL UA from manned civilian operations includes the utilisation of RelmaTech SIAM Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) technology providing live data feeds directly into Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Nuku’alofa International Airport.
“The benefit of conducting advanced operations is to test & demonstrate how safe, rapid & effective “fly-in” UA emergency response teams can be in conducting large scale wide area hi-resolution surveys of communities hit by natural disaster,” says Mark. “We look forward to conducting further long-range operations in the next few weeks demonstrating that UA operations can soon be an everyday routine occurrence in the SW Pacific region, ” he continued.
For further information please contact: [email protected]
To deliver the additional field activities of the World Bank’s UAV4Resiliance program, V-TOL has received its second International RPAS Operator’s Certificate covering the National Airspace of the Kingdom of Tonga. Issued by CAD Tonga as CAD/UAOC/01/17 under Part 102 (NZ) Regulations, this authorisation includes advanced permissions enabling multi-aircraft beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations. These permissions will enable V-TOL to fly its RPAS types over & between the Tongan Islands. “V-TOL looks forward to operating with key members of CAD Tonga and the World Bank in demonstrating advanced RPAS survey & support in this SW Pacific region”, says V-TOL CEO Mark Xavier. “To conduct advanced BVLOS missions, V-TOL has integrated RelmaTech’s SIAM UTM technology into each of its aircraft enabling Tongan ATC at Nuku’alofa real-time visibility of our operations”, he continued.
Hitachi & V-TOL Aerospace have executed a Global Agreement to develop and commercialise a new generation of autonomous robotic products & services.
Designed to support Hitachi’s IoT cloud based platform Process Intelligence (HPI) an Industrial level Enterprise business solution, the collaboration is aimed at supplying the in-field robotic & Ai technologies to enable HPI to sense, process & action ‘core’ industry business requirements in real-time.
“Hitachi’s vision for HPI takes business innovation & understanding to a new level to benefit industry & society,” says V-TOL CEO Mark Xavier. He continued, “V-TOL has been offered a unique opportunity to work with a highly respected global corporate leader to deliver advanced technologies that will increase productivity & reduce waste in many of our core industries”.
Approved for release Hitachi/V-TOL 12 Sep 2017
Queensland startups inspired by trade mission of a lifetime
Eleven Queensland AgTech startups have returned from a “life changing” Tel Aviv trade mission with key strategies to bolster Queensland’s burgeoning AgTech sector. The eleven companies, chosen from a very strong pool of applicants, represented diversity in the Queensland agricultural sector, both in the range of solutions they offer and their locations across the state with the startups coming from Cairns, Longreach, Gold Coast and Brisbane. They have returned from the mission, which was based out of the Tel Aviv Landing Pad, motivated by the Israeli ecosystem which is second only to Silicon Valley. The businesses already report they have several strong leads to significant new business opportunities in areas including agricultural biotechnology, big data and farm management. Advance Queensland partnered with Startup Catalyst and Austrade to deliver the mission to that travelled to Israel from 5-14 August.
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After an extensive global selection process, the World Bank Group (www.worldbank.org) has awarded Australian company, Queensland based, V-TOL Aerospace to deliver its UAV4Resilience Climate Change, Risk Management & Disaster Recovery UAV technology evaluation program. Designed to test how Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology can assist in the resilience of A-PAC Coastal & Island Nations, the program is expected to run for up to 12 months with V-TOL UAS Flight Crews & Geospatial specialists conducting advanced operations in the region. V-TOL will use multiple V-TOL manufactured UAS types (Fixed Wing, Multi-Rotor & Hybrids) fitted with various technologies including types never tested in this application before. “We are honoured to have been selected to deliver such an important initiative with global implications”, says Managing Director Mark Xavier. He continued, “V-TOL will use this opportunity to demonstrate V-TOL’s technical & Australia’s importance in delivering significant economic benefits to its region and the global community”.