Australian Marine Parks
Australian Marine Parks play a crucial role in protecting and conserving Australia’s marine environment, which is home to a diverse range of marine species and habitats.
In addition to providing recreational opportunities for people to enjoy the marine environment, these parks are essential for maintaining the health and productivity of Australia’s marine ecosystems. By establishing marine parks, the government can regulate fishing, oil and gas exploration, and other human activities that can have negative impacts on marine ecosystems.
By protecting marine habitats and species, marine parks also support the fishing and tourism industries that rely on these resources. Sustainable fishing practices within marine parks can help ensure that fish populations remain healthy and abundant, while tourism activities like diving and snorkeling can provide economic benefits to local communities.
Overall, Australian Marine Parks are an important tool for protecting Australia’s marine environment and the industries and communities that depend on it.
Organisational Requirements – Australian Marine Parks RPAS Surveillance
Australian Marine Parks, in collaboration with Hover UAV, conducted four trial activities at pre-selected locations across Australia. These trials aimed to assess the benefits of integrating Un-crewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms into the existing Australian Marine Park Compliance program. The primary and secondary objectives of these trials were as follows:
- To evaluate the benefits of integrating UAV platforms into the Australian Marine Park Compliance program, with a view to achieving the objectives set out in the Australian Marine Park Management Plans. This objective aimed to assess the effectiveness of UAV platforms in monitoring and enforcing compliance with the rules and regulations outlined in the Marine Park Management Plans.
- To allow for a cost comparison of UAV platforms and conventional monitoring methodologies used in Australian Marine Parks. This objective aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of using UAV platforms compared to traditional monitoring methods such as boats, divers, and aircraft.
- To assess the suitability of UAV platforms to conduct operations in the marine environment, particularly in Australian Marine Parks located beyond 3 nautical miles from shore.
- To evaluate the capabilities of UAV sensor payloads to collect information on Australian Marine Park users, including identifying features and locations of vessels, and activities being undertaken.
- To assess the benefits of coordinating or pairing UAV monitoring with conventional Marine Park monitoring methodologies.
Overall, these trial activities aimed to provide valuable insights into the potential benefits and limitations of using UAV platforms in the Australian Marine Park Compliance program. The findings from these trials could inform future decisions regarding the use of UAV platforms in monitoring and enforcing compliance within Australian Marine Parks.
Based on the trial activities conducted by Hover UAV using a powered-lift RPA and an electro-optical and infrared sensor, sufficient data was obtained to evaluate the suitability and capabilities of UAV platforms and sensors for operating in a marine environment. Furthermore, the trial provided insights into the benefits of incorporating UAV platforms into the existing monitoring methods. After analyzing the data collected and observations made, it is assessed that UAVs can be successfully integrated into the existing Australian Marine Park Compliance program, providing a cost-effective solution.