Mildura Weekly : Friday March 14 2014 VOL 8 No 19
Mildura Weekly – 07/03/14 9 www.milduraphonebook.com.au AT first, I must admit to being might- ily underwhelmed. The much smaller than expected black, polystyrene delta wing ‘air- craft’ was, at best, a very modest fly- ing machine indeed. It was only as operator Richard Waters began to explain the sophis- ticated technology that allows the craft to do what it does, that I found myself looking at it with any kind of respect. Richard, and his nephew Clinton, are the men behind one of Sunraysia’s most inno- vative new businesses. Known as UAVMAP – a contraction of unmanned aerial vehicle mapping – the business uses cutting-edge technology to re- define the way we look at our land- scape. Aerial photography on a larger scale has been around for quite a while, almost as long as flight itself. Here in Sunraysia this form of pho- tography dates back to at least World War 2 when photographic missions were flown out of the Royal Austra- lian Air Force (RAAF) base here. Based on scale alone, the services offered by UAVMAP are, Richard ac- knowledges, at one end of the aerial photographic scale. At the other end are the satellites that circle the earth, offering images like those found on the renowned Google Earth website. Somewhere in between are the aerial photographic surveys undertaken by fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. The UAVMAP aircraft looks a lot like a stealth bomber that got shrunk in the wash...a lot. With a wing span of less than a metre, and weighing in at just 500 grams fully loaded, its diminutive size and sim- ple outward appearance belie its capabilities. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a V-shaped wing carved out of a polystyrene fresh fruit box with a small electric motor and propellor mounted in the middle of the ‘V’ at the rear, and sprayed all over in matt black. There’s some reinforcing on its leading edge, and a pair of spin- dly looking arms on the top surface that Richard explains operate the simplest of ailerons on the trailing, or rear, edge. • Continued Page 12 Eagle eye in the sky its leading edge, and a pair of spin- dly looking arms on the top surface • MAN AND MACHINE: Richard Waters with his unmanned aerial vehicle in the foreground. He is kneeling by the case that carries the aircraft and accompanying equipment, including laptop and telemetry array. TOP: This Wedge-tailed eagle was snapped by the UAV on a mapping run in the Western Lease Lands area of the Wentworth Shire. Just before this photograph was taken, the eagle had been menacing the UAV, not sure if it was a threat or not. It lost interest, Richard says, when it determined it wasn’t. By Grant Maynard email@example.com The Innovators Grant Maynard Innovators F. 5027 6241 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.frankstockmanplumbing.com.au VIC & NSW LIC. NO. 32486 CALL NOW 0419 276 220 FREE QUOTES EXCAVATION HIRE PENSIONER DISCOUNTS • Commercial Plumbing • Roofing & Guttering • Plumbing Maintenance • Blocked Drains & Replacement • Gas Fitting Qualified and experienced staff at Frank Stockman plumbing specialise in all aspects of plumbing adopting the motto “no job too big or too small”. No obligation free quotes and pension discounts available for the Sunraysia District. • Hot Water Service & Replacement • Rain Water Tanks • Grey Water • Plus much, much more....
Friday March 7 2014 Vol 8 No 18
Friday March 21 2014 Vol 8 No 20