Australia appoints UK firm to run drone analytics for decommissioning old mines
The Australian government is to use drones and analytics to monitor the decommissioning and revegetation of mining sites in the north of the country.
The department for the environment and energy in Australia has appointed UK-based analytics firm Maestrano Group to equip drones with video analytics technologies to ensure former mining regions are returned to their former state, in line with the surrounding environment.
The government has ruled the last operational uranium mine in the region must cease operations in 2021. Decommissioning and revegetation of the site must finish by 2026. It is developing methods to monitor revegetation of the site, including the use of drone-based technologies.
Maestrano Group, which sells ‘transport corridor’ analytics solutions, has won the tender via its subsidiary Airsight, which sells ‘light direction and ranging (LiDAR) scanning unit, under the brand NextCore. Airsight will equip vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drones with the NextCore platform.
The drones will operate ‘beyond visual line of site’ (BVLOS), in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia. The drone payload will include hyperspectral and multispectral sensors, integrated with the LiDAR capability, said Maestrano.
The drones will acquire data from the savanna ecosystem in Kakadu National Park, in Australia’s Northern Territory. The analytics platform will derive metrics about trees, including tree height, canopy depth, canopy diameters and tree diameter.
Nick Smith, co-founder of Airsight and vice president of sales at Maestrano, said the deal will see his company “integrate complex sensors for specialised aerial surveying over large areas.”