Boeing engage Queensland SMEs on remote pilot aircraft technology

03 Aug 2017

Boeing Defence Australia has engaged Queensland businesses to help develop world-first technology to enable the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) to inspect and capture critical data on natural resource infrastructure.

Boeing Defence Australia is a subsidiary of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company. The RPAS is expected to have a wide application across a range of resource industries, including agriculture, mining, energy, telecommunications, search and rescue, and environmental management.

In a media release, Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch, says eight Queensland SMEs have been engaged to provide systems engineering support, and to develop and manufacture hardware for the RPAS project.

‘Within 12 months, Boeing Defence Australia and its subsidiary, Insitu Pacific, produced and are field-testing a prototype unmanned aerial system situational-awareness system, along with a networked common operating picture system,' she says.

‘They did this in partnership with Telstra and QGC, with the support of eight Queensland businesses including Brisbane’s Fastel Communications, RF Technologies and Syndetic.’

‘This system is capable of transmitting aircraft data over Telstra’s cellular network to provide a remote air picture for RPAS pilots, and is a big leap forward for beyond-line-of-sight RPAS operations.’

Boeing Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific President, Maureen Dougherty, says Boeing had a strong history of partnership innovation in Australia.

‘Queensland and Boeing working together on the next generation of cutting-edge technology is another milestone in our strong 90-year relationship with Australia,’ says Dougherty.

The Queensland Government awarded Boeing Defence Australia A$1 million through its Advance Queensland Platform Technology Program to develop and build an advanced airspace awareness system hardware prototype.