Teams compete in pilot-less plane challenge

 Teams compete in pilot-less plane challenge

27 September 2007

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Australia — An outback challenge for up-and-coming designers of pilot-less aircraft is set to become an annual event on the Kingaroy calendar in south-east Queensland.

Teams from schools, universities and the private sector have been competing this week, and completed their final exercise late yesterday, which simulated having to search for a lost bushwalker and drop emergency supplies.

Queensland University of Technology professor Rod Walker says unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft which can be remote-controlled or flown autonomously based on a pre-programmed flight plan.

Professor Walker says they are used extensively by the military, and Queensland is positioned to become a major player in the commercial market.

He says applications will include agriculture, mining, environmental mapping and bushfire monitoring.

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