Uni to unveil unmanned bushfire spotting plane

Uni to unveil unmanned bushfire spotting plane

2 December 2006

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia — An unmanned plane developed for spotting bushfires by University of South Australia researchers will go on public display on Tuesday.

Dr Grant Wigley from the university says the plane has been developed in collaboration with the Country Fire Service (CFS).

He says there are other possible uses for the unpiloted aircraft.

“It could be used in crop surveillance, it could be used in search and rescue,” he said.

“It’s able to fly long distances out to the ocean and look for ships and things like that.”

Dr Wigley says because of the bushfire season starting early, a test flight will not go ahead until next year.

He says the aircraft, which is still in the early development stages, is controlled from the ground.

“It has a traditional computing system, it has a micro-pilot, which is an auto-pilot to control the flight controls and it has a high-performance reconfigurable computer which is used for doing a lot of the processing to help the bushfire monitoring,” hesaid.

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