Australia is looking forward to expanding their unmanned aerial vehicle (or UAV) application to help civilian users conduct surveillance and remote control operations in remote areas of the country. The department of defense is backing this up with a $40 million contract with remotely piloted aerial vehicle provider RPV Solutions to develop new software and hardware for the application. The program, dubbed Aerial Eyes, will give the Australian military access to a new capability within the next decade. The goal is to use UAVs to gather intelligence and even perform military operations in Afghanistan and other areas of the Middle East. In addition to gathering data on enemy activity, the aerial eyes will also be used to monitor weather patterns, crops and other aspects of the nation’s agricultural sector.
In addition to gathering intelligence, the UAVs will also be utilized to recover downed airmen. UAVs are also expected to play an important role in humanitarian efforts, such as conducting rescue missions after natural disasters. They may also be used to transport critically injured patients and victims of severe weather or road accidents. In this manner, drones could be effectively inserted into operational areas to provide assistance to local officials and members of the public. Additionally, these same aircraft can also be used to carry out search and rescue missions over rugged terrain.
In addition to humanitarian and operational applications, Australia drones is looking to apply its UAVs to collecting and storing data on its massive agricultural industry. By using UAVs, the agricultural industry would be able to collect and analyze data on crop health and productivity from various points in the field. This data would then be used to make wiser decisions regarding the proper farming practices, and could possibly help the industry in implementing better machinery and agricultural practices to increase yield and productivity. As of now, this system is still in the research stage, but any advances made in the field would certainly be beneficial to the Australian economy. In fact, the program is said to be Australia’s largest UAV project to date.