CanberraUAV is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing and promoting the field of civilian UAV’s.

CanberraUAV is focussed on three major areas:

Research and Development

  • Research and Development of hardware/software parts for amateur civilian UAV’s.
  • Any parts developed by CanberraUAV are open source.
  • Any CanberraUAV member can research and develop anything that will further this field and they think is worthwhile.

Education and Collaboration

  • Educating the public about the potential uses of civilian UAV’s.
  • Collaborating with local search and rescue organisations with what they want from UAV’s.
  • Working with local schools and universities to teach and develop UAV systems.
  • Showing that open-source UAV’s are easy-to-use, safe, accessible, practical and affordable.


  • Competing in UAV competitions, such as the UAV Outback Challenge.


The UAV Outback Challenge

The UAV Outback Challenge is based upon the premise of rescuing a stranded tourist in the Australian outback. In the Search and Rescue Challenge portion, the UAV plane must search an 2 x 3 nmi (3 x 5 km) area for the tourist. Once he has been found, the plane will drop a life saving 500ml of water as close to him as possible. Points are awarded based upon the number of functions (takeoff, landing, person detection) that are performed autonomously by the UAV and how close the dropped bottle of water is to the tourist.

This needs to happen in a 60 minute time limit from takeoff to landing!

The challenge is quite complex with many technical, logic and regulatory requirements that need to be fulfilled.

In the 2012 and 2014  UAV Outback Challenges, CanberraUAV came 1st place.

The Team

The CanberraUAV team is comprised of community technology group members, university students and educators from colleges and universities. The team represents the cross section of technology expertise in Canberra – including teachers, communications engineers, pilots and software developers. All members of the team are volunteers and we operate on a not-for-profit basis.