We are drone designers, engineers and pilots with a passion for applying the latest innovations in UAV technology to create practical solutions for scientific research.

 

We work alongside scientific researchers to adapt their stringent sampling or sensing requirements onto remote aerial platforms, opening up previously inaccessible opportunities for data collection. By developing our purpose-built systems from the ground up, we can fit highly specialised payloads and equipment onto a minimal airframe footprint, minimising cost and complication. We welcome the weird and wonderful - if you have an unusual drone requirement please get in touch!

 
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Guy Alexander

With 6 years as director of a top aerial cinematography company, his understanding of the regulatory, logistical and safety requirements of commercial UAV operations are essential to the success of our projects. With over 1000 flying hours, Guy is one of Australia’s most sought-after drone pilots. As a skilled FPV (First Person Vision) Pilot with experience on many aircraft types up to 45kg, Guy is able to manoeuvre in and out of challenging environments, specialising in close proximity flying through treetop canopies and alongside vehicles. He’s travelled the world for clients that require his specialised skillset, from international feature films to BBC Planet Earth II.

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Alastair Smith

Responsible for the continuous development of our custom aircraft, Alastair enjoys the constant challenge of meeting the variety of requests that come through our doors. He has 4 years experience in the commercial and scientific UAV industry and logged over 600 hours operating various UAV systems in difficult conditions from high-pressure film sets to inside volcano craters at night. With a career background in marine science and 20 years experience in remote aerial systems, Alastair and his team use CAD/CAM design and fabrication, custom electronics and best-of-breed components to develop practical solutions to unique problems.

 

Collaborators

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Vanessa Pirotta

Vanessa is the lead researcher for our whale blow projects, currently completing her PhD at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her work is focused on identifying conservation gaps for cetaceans within Australian waters, investigating the types of threats faced by cetaceans and other marine megafauna and their interactions with anthropogenic activities. Vanessa's most current research involves the use of emerging technologies such as drones for marine megafauna conservation. Vanessa completed her Master of Research (MRes 2014) looking at the effects of underwater construction and whale alarms upon migrating humpback whales. She has a wealth of experience in marine fieldwork  and is a qualified Marine Mammal Observer, having worked in a variety of challenging remote locations around Australia, the South Pacific and Antarctica.

https://directory.science.mq.edu.au/users/vpirotta

https://loop.frontiersin.org/people/433382/overview

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Professor Rob Harcourt

Rob leads the Marine Predator Research Group at Macquarie University in Sydney and the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System Animal Tracking Facility. His research interests are in marine conservation, behavioural ecology of marine predators, and marine observing. One of Rob’s major research directions has been the use of technology to 'open a window' into the world of large marine predators. His team were the first to successfully deploy satellite transmitters on otariid seals and wintering Adelie penguins and have developed methods of measuring and interpreting dive data in two and three dimensions. Recently much of his research has focused on individual differences and evolutionary mechanisms, combining observation and experimental manipulation of behaviour in the field with genetic methods. Completing a PhD at Cambridge, he has since worked on projects in Peru, Mexico, the USA and New Zealand. He came back to Australia 15 years ago and set up what was the Marine Mammal Research Group- now the Marine Predator Research group, where he has worked  and continues to work with some great people on a whole range of marine wildlife.

http://bio.mq.edu.au/our-research/mprg/

http://imos.org.au/aatams.html/

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Dean Cropp

Dean is an ACS award winning Cinematographer and TV Producer, having close to 20 years experience on many documentaries, TV series and the 3D feature film Storm Surfers 3D (6ixtyfoot Films). Beginning his career alongside his father, filmmaker Ben Cropp, he honed his skills as a cinematographer and gone on to make underwater filming his specialty. He is an accredited ADAS AS2299 Commercial diver, CDAA Cave diver and RFS Bushfire cameraman. An avid inventor and backyard engineer, Dean has developed and designed many custom camera systems that have been on fire, float, fly and dive. Captain of the ‘Barefoot’, a Fusion 40 12 metre catamaran, specially setup for filming, science and exploration, Dean has led many research and filming voyages around Australia’s Coral Sea and the South Pacific. With a lifetime of experience on the water, Dean is an expert at tracking and maneuvering vessels around whales with strict regard to the conditions of Scientific Licences.

http://barefootcharters.com.au/