26-May-14 RUASRT lead researcher Dr Reece Clothier has been interviewed by Jordan Chong for an article by Australian Aviation on CASA’s proposed regulations for civil unmanned aircraft systems (read more about the proposed regulations here). Dr Clothier, who is the Industry Co-Chair for the CASA Standards Consultative Committee, UAS Sub-Committee, expressed general support for the proposed regulations. Whilst there is still a long way to go in the development of regulations for UAS in Australia, the proposed reform is considered favourably.
22-May-14 RUASRT to develop prototype UAS Safety Assurance System. Working in collaboration with Flight Data Systems and its research division UAV Australia, the RUASRT is undertaking the engineering analysis, research, preliminary design and testing of a prototype avionics product that has the potential to enhance the safety of unmanned aircraft operations. The final system performs a number of safety functions independent of existing avionics. The end product will be designed to a pre-defined assurance level (software and hardware standards).
The project is jointly funded by Flight Data Systems, RMIT and a Victoria State Government Business Research and Development – Innovation Voucher Grant.
21-May-14 RUASRT is pleased to announce the arrival of Dr Sridhar Ravi who joins us from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB), Harvard University. Dr Ravi’s expertise is in biological flight.
Through evolution, biological systems have mastered flight under challenging conditions. It is hoped that through studying insects and birds, Dr Ravi’s research can lead to significant advancements in the dynamics and control of aircraft, and in particular, micro aerial vehicles.
Dr Ravi was awarded a prestigious RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship in 2014.
15 May 14 – The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the regulation of civil unmanned aircraft in Australia. The NPRM is open for comment until the 16-June-14. The NPRM is available on the CASA website:
The NPRM details proposed changes to the definition of unmanned aircraft systems (in line with ICAO definitions). It also describes new requirements in relation to small UAS (with a takeoff mass of less than 2kg), and information on remote pilot licensing.
Regulations relevant to civil UAS operations in Australia are contained in Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR 1998) Part 101. More information on the regulations applicable to UAS (or remotely piloted aircraft) can be found on the CASA website:
Update – RUASRT has made public comment on some aspects of the NPRM:
13-May-14 RUASRT researchers, working in partnership with Northrop Grumman Australia, are exploring some of the key challenges in the airworthiness certification of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The MQ-4C Triton system is being used as a case-study for the research. The Triton has a wingspan of ~40m and an endurance in excess of 24 hours.
More information and related links:
Related media coverage:
RUASRT announced today that is undertaking research in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to develop an unmanned aircraft that is capable of soaring like a bird.
The project, which is partly funded by the Defence Science Institute, commenced early in 2014 and is working towards flight testing of a small prototype system capable of ‘surfing’ updrafts around large buildings. The prototype system is called the RMIT Kestrel.
The six month research project brings together leading research into the modelling and analysis of airflows around structures with advanced sensing, and guidance algorithms.
The project is led by Prof Simon Watkins, Dr Reece Clothier, Dr Jennifer Palmer (DSTO), Dr Alex Fisher, Dr Matt Marino, and supported by Mr Abdulghani Mohamed, Ms Kiros Lim, Mr Chung Leung, Mr Liam Peters, and Mr Sam Prudden.
RUASRT Researcher Dr Reece Clothier featured on nationally on ABC Radio on Friday morning. The interview was in relation to a recent near miss between a small remotely operated aircraft and a rescue helicopter operating near Newcastle. The ATSB incident report can be found here. A response from the industry association to the incident can also be found here.
Only short segments of the full 15 minute interview were aired, and can be listened to here: . Or online:
RUASRT Research Lead, Dr Reece Clothier, appeared on ABC News 24. Dr Clothier discusses Facebook’s proposal to use unmanned aircraft for the provision of wireless internet. The full interview is available, which was aired on Wednesday the 2nd of April 2014 is available below:
Lead RUASRT researcher, Dr Reece Clothier, has been elected as co-chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Standards Consultative Committee (SCC) on Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The newly formed Sub-Committee replaces the existing SCC working group. The terms of reference for the SCC include:
- Reviewing and analysing all information relating to tasks involving the development of regulations and standards pertaining to unmanned aircraft systems.
- Evaluating and developing options and making recommendations on the proposals.
- Identifying, documenting and raising issues that need attention / resolution and report to the SCC as required.
- Reviewing the impact of proposals using the Legislative Change Proposals procedure.
- Discussing and clarifying the role and expectations of the sub-committee members early in the process to avoid misunderstandings.
- Fostering balanced and complete discussion on proposals.
- Working through all technical, legal and policy issues dealing with the development of regulations and standards related to unmanned aircraft systems.
- Reviewing and analysing information relating to Regulatory Development implementation.
More information on the UAS SCC can be found on the CASA website: