Queensland is fast becoming a leading aviation and aerospace hub in the Asia-Pacific region. In April 2006 the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) established its Applied Hypersonics Branch at QCAT. The two research organisations in this cluster are:
The ICT Centre's Autonomous Systems Lab is pioneering research on vision-based flying robots. These will be used by experts without piloting skills for inspecting infrastructure such as bridges, cooling towers, powerlines and pipelines.
CSIRO and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have signed a Joint Venture Agreement creating the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA).
The aim of ARCAA is to develop flight safety systems and technologies that will enable the widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for civilian applications. Queensland State Government support for the venture will enable the construction of a specialised research facility at Brisbane Airport including an environmental chamber, UAV assembly workshop, avionics development laboratory and a mobile operations centre to support flight testing activities in remote locations.
CSIRO and QUT are collaborating with local and international researchers from Boeing Australia and Boeing Phantom Works to develop and trial :
- vision-based senses
- avoid capabilities for rotary and fixed-wing UAVs
- predictive flight management modules for both UAVs and piloted aircraft
- airspace separation systems for both UAVs and piloted aircraft
This collaboration has been highly influential in the decision by Boeing to establish a branch of its Phantom Works advanced research unit in Australia.
CSIRO ICT Centre's Autonomous Systems Lab website
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Flights at hypersonic speeds potentially offer significant advantages in performance for defence and civilian aerospace applications. Civilian applications include low-cost satellite launch and high-speed aircraft.
DSTO activities in hypersonics cover:
- applied research into air-breathing hypersonic propulsion and hypersonic aerodynamics
- interaction and collaboration with Australian universities and industry involved with hypersonic research and development
- maintaining international links to DSTO's hypersonics program
- developing flight hardware and conducting ground flight testing
- providing an avenue for advanced research in related areas such as material, guidance and control, structures and sensors