Queensland: Business as usual

Queensland has emerged as the hub for Australia's Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV) industry thanks to collaborative relationships between research institutions, industry and government, and their ongoing commitment to this fast-growing sector.

Over 30 per cent of Australia's growing UAV industry is located in Queensland, with Insitu Pacific, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, playing a pivotal role as supplier and operator of the ScanEagle UAV to the Australian Army.

The State also has outstanding research and development capabilities in UAV technology with the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) and the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRC-SI) both located in the State.

Recent announcements in Queensland's rapidly growing UAV industry include:

•Construction of ARCAA's new facility commenced with a ground-breaking ceremony at the Brisbane Airport Da Vinci precinct. The centre will feature 800 square metres to accommodate up to 35 researchers. Once completed it will be the first airport-based UAV research and development facility in Australia.

• In June this year, Insitu Pacific, the Australian branch of the global Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) developer Insitu and wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, officially opened its Asia Pacific headquarters in Fortitude Valley, Queensland.

High school and university students and aviation enthusiasts will once again take over the Kingaroy skies when the third annual UAV Challenge - Outback Rescue takes place on 30 September 2009.

With record numbers of entrants nationally and internationally (including from Spain, Canada, Netherlands, India, USA and Brazil), and influential industry sponsors such as Boeing Defence Australia, Insitu, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Aviation Business Asia Pacific Magazine, this year's event is sure to be bigger and better then ever.

The UAV Challenge is a joint initiative between the Queensland Government and ARCAA, and was conceived to promote the development of UAV technologies and their use for civil applications.

Each year, teams of high school students, university students and professional aerospace industry teams converge on Kingaroy, competing to locate and assist someone lost in the Australian outback.

For more information, visit http://www.uavoutbackchallenge.com.au.

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