Activity update: Bushfire response

By | October 3, 2020

It’s time that we give you an update on what we have been up to! Our team was set up in 2011 to bring like-minded individuals together to help drive the development of open-source UAV technology to deal with real-world challenges, li ke those that we deal with in the UAV Challenge.

Thanks to the craziness of 2020 the UAV Challenge organisers have postponed the competition until next year. Keen to turn this disappointment into an opportunity, our team has pivoted into another project that can use open-source UAV technology for good. We are really excited to tell you that we have been working with a great team at the Australian National University to help them to develop a ‘water glider’ that can provide a rapid response to bushfire ignition.

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ANU prototype water glider: Courtesy ANU-Optus Bushfire Research Centre of Excellence

To quote our friends at ANU,

“A prototype water glider is under development in collaboration with Canberra UAV. It involves an innovative technique for water bombing from high altitudes (well above 5000 feet) which significantly mitigates the risks inherent in current approaches, providing very rapid response while obtaining high accuracy and good control over the spread of the water. It also allows the use of unmodified aircraft thus increasing the number of available aircraft and lowering costs. Proof of concept demonstration will be achieved in the short term.”

You can read all about the ANU project here:

We are still working on some development towards the 2021 UAV Challenge, which we will provide an update on in a future post.

We hope our friends and Patreons are keeping safe and encourage you to support our sponsors Airborne Innovation,  Microhard, HolyBro and HobbyKing to supply the kit for those lockdown projects!