Top-of-the-range drone makes its de­but

Pilbara News - - Business - Ali­cia Per­era

■ An en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tancy heav­ily in­volved in the Pil­bara has be­come the first busi­ness in WA to ac­quire a high-grade un­manned aerial sys­tem.

The UAS, also called an un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle or drone, will im­prove Astron’s en­vi­ron­men­tal sur­vey­ing work.

Astron, a WA com­pany with a Kar­ratha of­fice and about 80 per cent of its work in the Pil­bara re­gion, re­ceived the Bramor rTK drone two weeks ago.

The ma­chine was made in Europe by lead­ing aero­space en­ter­prise providers C-As­tral Aero­space, and only one other com­pany in Aus­tralia owns one.

Astron has been us­ing the smaller Sense­fly Ebee drone, a model com­mon across the Aus­tralian min­ing industry, for some years now.

But Sam Atkin­son — man­ager of Astron’s geospa­tial team, the main depart­ment in­volved with the new ma­chine — said the lead­er­ship team had led the charge to ac­quire the UAS to im­prove ef­fi­ciency and in­no­va­tion.

Mr Atk­isnon said the UAS would re­quire fewer “boots on ground” to sur­vey huge ar­eas of land and do it in less time than other UASs, while also of­fer­ing more en­durance, greater ac­cu­racy, and more so­phis­ti­cated plan­ning ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“It can com­fort­ably cover 400ha in a sin­gle flight,” he said.

“This is the top end in terms of ca­pa­bil­ity.”

He noted tak­ing sur­vey­ors off the ground in mi­ne­site re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion projects would re­duce the oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety haz­ards they faced, as they worked in of­ten dan­ger­ous and re­mote ar­eas.

Pic­ture: Astron

Astron’s geospa­tial team Joshua Kel­cey, Will Wishart, Me­hdi Ra­van­bakhsh, Sam Atkin­son, Steven Tsang, Stu­art Pais­ley, Tore Ped­er­sen and Carl Dyde with the new drone.

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