Drone technology is vital for commercial, industrial and military applications, and has been around for over two decades. However, the last few years has seen significant gains in drone adoption and expansion across a range of sectors in Australia, and having knowledge of drones can help enhance your career or business productivity.
Our Introduction to Drone Technology course will give you insights into how drone technology has real-world applications across many industries. In this drone technology course, you will discover how drone technology is used in business, horticulture, construction, telecommunications and in the retail and service industries. It will also give you an understanding of the photographic and recreational uses of drones.
You will also learn about the benefits, risks and legal considerations of drone technology as well as the future of drone technology.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a drone technology course include:
- Learning about the history, purpose and types of drones
- Exploring single rotor, multi rotor, fixed wing, fixed wing hybrid VTOL and airship drones
- Gaining an understanding of connectivity, radio frequency, Wi-Fi and LTE (4g/5g)
- Studying remote sensing, aerial surveillance, aerial videography and remote sensing
- Examining aerial surveillance, aerial videography, disaster relief, construction/surveying, geological exploration and drones for recreational purposes
- Understanding military, aquatic and space applications
- Attaining knowledge of drone features, camera and media storage, flight time and speed
- Gaining insights into propeller and motor type, hover accuracy and drone components
- Learning how to build a drone
- Exploring building/assembling the frame, mounting PDB and other electrical components, connecting the flight controller, the wireless control system, connecting the battery and camera and testing the drone
- Gaining an understanding of drone operation, vertical motion and rotating and horizontal motion
- Studying ethical concerns, individual rights and data protection
- Examining accountability of autonomous, legal considerations and safety
- Understanding air space, environmental law and privacy concerns
- Attaining knowledge of spying and stalking, data collection and data breach
- Gaining insights into illegal uses and smuggling
- Learning about using drones as weapons and cyberweapons
- Exploring licensing
- Gaining an understanding of environmental applications
- Studying the development of drone technology and wildlife conservation (on land an in water)
- Examining land management, mapping and planning and checking land conditions
- Understanding assessing natural disasters, reforestation and the types of drones used in reforestation
- Attaining knowledge of sustainable agriculture and crop monitoring
- Gaining insights into monitoring and inspecting renewable energy sources, pipelines and oil rigs
- Learning about collecting samples and detecting poachers
- Exploring transport and delivery
- Gaining an understanding of exploratory and discovery applications
- Studying drones in exploration including oceanic exploration
- Examining ROVS (operated remotely), AUV (autonomous underwater vehicles) and HROV (hybrid remotely operated vehicles)
- Understanding space exploration (rovers used by NASA), drones in mining applications and aerial surveys and 3D mapping
- Attaining knowledge of sample and data collection and volumetric and LiDar
Classification of Drones
In a drone technology course, you will become familiar with a variety of types of drones. These are normally classified by size, type and categories. A model aircraft is a drone or remote controlled aircraft, flown for recreation or sport, and a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) is a drone flown commercially or for business.
- Multi-rotor helicopter. This has more than one power-driven engine (rotor) that rotates or turns vertically. It lands, takes off, lands and hovers like a traditional “single rotor” helicopter but has more than one rotor.
- Single-rotor helicopter. This has one power-driven engine (rotor) and looks like a traditional helicopter. It usually also has another rotor on the tail or end of the aircraft.This looks and flies like a regular plane and it has fixed wings. It also takes off and lands horizontally and usually can’t hover.
- Powered lift. This can take off and land vertically (straight up and down) like a helicopter, but can then move into forward flight like a traditional plane. This is engine powered and is “lighter than air”. It can be filled with a buoyant gas and usually “floats” in the air. A blimp is a good example of an airship.
In terms of drone sizes:
- Micro — is 250g or less
- Very small — is 25.01g to 2kg
- Small — 2.01kg to 25kg
- Medium — 25.01kg to 150kg
- Large — More than 150kg
Economy-wide Impact of Drones
As the popularity of drones in the market has increased so has the technology, which continues to become more advanced and accessible. And as you’ll learn in our drone technology course, drones have had a significant impact on many sectors in recent years. But the technology has even more potential for the future, including a predicted economic boost of $14.5 billion in GDP for Australia and the creation of 5,500 full-time jobs each year over the next 20 years.
There are a number of current and future uses for these technologies across multiple industries in Australia, and current uses of drone technology include:
Government and Community Services
Predicted growth of the drone industry has the potential to create new opportunities by automating production processes, and leading to cost savings over the medium to long term. This includes in the areas of:
- Fire response
- Emergency ambulance response
- Search and rescue
- Local law enforcement
- Border control
- Conservation management
- Disaster management and monitoring
- Road congestion
Drones are already being used by mining companies in Australia in terms of:
- Blast and mine reclamation monitoring
- Stockpile measurement/geotechnical modelling
- Equipment inspection
- Mineral mapping and surveying
- Hazard identification and reduction
- Remote operational management and planning for legal standards compliance
- Monitoring and optimisation of haulage road networks
- Mapping and generation of practical 3D reconstructions and surface models for before and after drilling and blasting assessments
- Exploration and survey imagery of areas difficult to access on foot
Drones have also had significant impacts on the agricultural sector, in the areas of:
- Photo capturing technology — which can be used by farmers to conduct soil analysis, better plan their seed planting patterns and stay up to date with how their plants are growing. They can also address issues such as crop yield, weather, pests and other agricultural contingencies.
- Data and monitoring —enables farmers to inspect irrigation equipment and gather environmental and plant data in order to make decisions about management, output and crop health.
- Pesticide and fertiliser distribution — drones can replace traditional crop dusters, can disseminate pesticides and fertilisers, and allow for a precise measurement of plant health.
- Irrigation — With the correct sensors, drones can identify which parts of a field are receiving too much or too little water. Once the crop is growing, they can also allow for a precise measurement of the heat, health and density of the crop, allowing for irrigation adjustments to be made as the plants grow.
The construction industry has historically been the fastest growing commercial adopter of drones ahead of mining and agriculture. Drones help companies:
- Carry out inspections across the infrastructure sector, including on bridges, powerlines and rail assets.
- Conduct remote inspections and condition monitoring and map, survey and deliver accurate measurements.
- Identify potential problems and eliminate risk through the use of 3D models and drone maps.
- Substitute existing labour-intensive processes such as inspections and surveying.
- Collect real-time data and understand on-site conditions to track progress.
- Use site mapping data to communicate, plan and keep projects on schedule with the use of site mapping data via complementary software.
- Enhance occupational health and safety benefits in the form of safer work environments.
An implementation that will increase in the next few years is the use of drone technology to deliver goods using automated drones to carry packages from a distribution hub to a drop-off location. These include:
- Food deliveries
- Express parcels
- Imported pharmaceutical deliveries
- Deliveries of samples from medical centres to testing labs and hospitals, including to remote and regional areas.
- Medical deliveries in remote areas and some cargo-airfreight.
Queensland Drones Strategy
The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to launch a strategy for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – also known as drones.
The 2018 Queensland Drones Strategy leverages the state’s innovation success and builds on Queensland’s strengths to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities. The vision is that Queensland is a world leader in drone application and technology, and the drone industry has a highly skilled workforce (particularly those who have done a drone technology course!), strong jobs growth and investment, supported by world-leading development capability and research.
The Queensland Flight Test Range, located at Cloncurry Airport was opened in 2020. This state-of-the-art unmanned aerial systems test facility is the first of its kind in Australia, and will give users access to:
- a 20-metre by 20-metre hangar
- airspace measuring 30 kilometres by 20 kilometres and up to 6000 feet
- a two-kilometre runway
- state-of-the- art monitoring equipment
- surveillance radar
- an air conditioned workshop
- supporting amenities.
Gain a comprehensive understanding of drone technology’s nature, scope and applications with a drone technology course such as our .