It is the era of autonomy as more and more agencies look to minimise safety incidents to staff and minimise operating costs by increasing robotics and autonomous technologies in their scopes of work. Drones are just one of those technologies gaining huge momentum across many applications and industries. This week we look at an opportunity issued by the Director of National Parks seeking Drone operations to monitor, detect and collect information on prohibited activity in marine parks. This is part of the Directorate’s role to ensure compliance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and other departmental goals.
Parks Australia currently has an information gap regarding the activities conducted by small craft vessels which are not equipped with vessel monitoring systems and are not required to have automated identification systems. Unauthorised tourism and recreational fishing activities may be going undetected, creating a significant gap in Australian Marine Park domain awareness for managers. Traditional surveillance approaches for detecting small craft, such as vessel patrols and manned aerial surveillance flights, can be extremely costly. This trial seeks to inform the compliance program through the investigation of new, cost effective technologies to monitor vessel activity. Parks Australia aims to trial the technology by conducting aerial reconnaissance surveys over selected National Park Zones where there have been historic repeated infringements of the zoning regulations e.g. illegal fishing operations. Data captured by the UAV will be analysed to determine whether vessel compliance or non-compliance can be accurately identified. Data (including images) collected during the operational components of the trials should be of a high enough quality that it is able to support enforcement outcomes.
Tenderers are required to hold a CASA Remote Operating Certificate with minimum operator crew certification of CASA RePL, CASA Radio Operators Licence. The Contract is expected to commence June this year and will run for 12 months with no extension envisaged. An industry briefing will be held online on 8th February 21 and the closing date for the RFT is 8th March 21.