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CyberQuad UAVs are allowing firefighters to get a bird’s eye view of a fire or major incident as the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) undertake an operational trial over the next 12 months.

The CyberQuad remote-controlled aircraft, that were previously only used by the MFB in training scenarios, are now available to respond to incidents as part of a pilot program.

Melbourne MFB own two CyberQuad Maxi UAVs, which are piloted by remote control and carry a cameras into the air above an incident. They can transmit real time images to the incident controller via a portable monitor as well as onto the screens in the MFB Control Unit.

This has the potential to greatly enhance the incident controller’s ability to make timely, effective tactical decisions and deployments as well as allowing management teams to locate and monitor the positions of their crews and resources.

There are two different payloads owned and operated by the MFB. CQ1 has a high definition camera and is excellent for high quality photos and video. CQ2 has a combination camera, which combines a standard definition camera and thermal imaging camera. Pilots can flick between the two camera types on CQ2, to give operators both types of vision.

During the training phase, the UAV was deployed to the truck accident on CityLink (17 May 2013) and the CMA Recycling Centre fire in Ringwood (1 December 2012). During both incidents the footage helped inform operational decisions.

Commander Will Glenn, who has spearheaded the project, will speak at the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) Conference this week.

“Currently, MFB’s only capacity to undertake aerial monitoring and intelligence gathering during an incident is via ladder platforms, which have a lower level observation height and do not have cameras, thermal imaging or plume analysis capability,” he said.

“If the trial is successful, UAVs could improve our ability to rapidly gather a more complete overview of an emergency situation with their rapid deployment, manoeuvrability and ability to provide real-time imagery to the incident management team.”

The MFB UAV program commenced on August 23 and will run for 12 months.

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Scitech is Western Australia’s leading science education centre that offers engaging and interactive science experiences for visitors of all ages.

CEO of Cyber Technology and Inventor of CyberQuad Joshua Portlock was interviewed for the Ingenious Aeronautic Engineering Article in their up and coming Ingenious Exhibition. You can find the interview on Scitech’s website here:

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The full article can be found here:

CEO Joshua Portlock made the following statement for the CNBC report.

“Cyber Technology have been CASA licensed to provide commercial UAV services in Australia for over 3 years now. Whereas the US are still a while away from allowing and licensing commercial use.

We’ve sold millions of dollars of CyberQuad systems to various customers and applications, who are each making and/or saving millions of dollars in their respective industries.

We’ve had fire brigade and emergency services customers using our CyberQuad systems to help save lives, by getting birds eye views of building fires, natural disasters and major accidents. With our integrated dual thermal/optical payload, they can identify high risk hot spots from above to coordinate their activities safety, while also searching for trapped people who need their help.

CyberQuad is particularly competitive in the commercial space because of it’s highly optimized and safe ducted fans, that are made from a tough non-conductive engineering thermoplastic. This makes it the safest UAV in the world for inspecting high risk infrastructure, like power poles and communication towers.

A warn out power pole caught fire here in WA this week and caused a massive bushfire that sadly destroyed 50 homes. This could have been avoided by widespread implementation of CyberQuad systems regularly inspecting all power poles for wear and damage.

In order to facilitate safe and reliable widespread adoption of our system, we know we need to produce the utmost of quality hardware and implement very user friendly software. This is why we have partnered with DreamHammer to employ their DroneOS in our future systems.

With DreamHammer’s experience producing high-end ground control station software for large scale autonomous military systems, we are confident they will be able to provide a user friendly framework for our commercial customers to operate our systems intuitively and safely in the future.”

For more information about DreamHammer, please visit their website:

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Cyber Technology is the first company in Australia to be accredited by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to provide Level 1 Multi-Rotor Remote Pilot training courses.

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CyberQuad is on display at the Insitu Pacific booth within the Singapore Airshow Exhibition this week. If you are attending, please feel free to visit their booth number N96 and see the latest CyberQuad Maxi systems. Insitu Pacific has chosen to operate and represent CyberQuad systems due to their compact, safe and versatile competitive advantages, which complements their existing systems and business.

Insitu Pacific provides and operates unmanned aircraft systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Their runway-independent fixed-wing systems include ScanEagle, NightEagle and Integrator. To date, these systems have accumulated over 750,000 operational flight hours and 91,000 sorties. Insitu Pacific, located in Queensland, Australia, has provided UAS services to defence, civil and commercial interests in the Asia-Pacific region since 2009. Insitu Pacific is a subsidiary of US based Insitu, Inc. and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company.

For more information about Insitu Pacific, please visit

For more information about the Singapore Airshow, please visit

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WA Business News “Cyber Technology Takes Off”

Author: Saskia Pickles, Photo: Attila Csaszar

“Flying an unmanned aerial vehicle, or ‘drone’ in the vernacular, is a serious business that requires its operator hold a private pilot’s licence before taking the craft to the skies for commercial purposes.

But Balcatta-based UAV designer and manufacturer Cyber Technology has convinced the regulators that it can train operators to use its machines without the need for such a qualification, cutting the time taken to learn this skill to just two weeks.

The company hopes this change will open up this fledging market, which has been restricted by a lack of trained operators. There are a number of companies using UAVs for different commercial purposes.

The most frequent users of Cyber Technology’s UAVs are fire brigades, power pole inspectors, and businesses in the resources sector, as well as a smaller number of agricultural businesses that use them to monitor crop health.

Cyber Technology chief executive Josh Portlock said it worked with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to receive pilot training accreditation because it wanted to remove its greatest barrier to customers buying its products.

Mr Portlock, who designed the prototype while at university, said Cyber Technology had realised people weren’t hesitant to use the technology, but we’re being held back by the regulations and logistics of training people.

“We’re likely to get 50 per cent more business because we have that one-stop-shop type support for customers,” Mr Portlock told Business News.

Currently, sales of UAVs and associated systems make up the core of Cyber Technology’s business, with training making up only 5 per cent of revenue, but Mr Portlock said he expected training to grow to 15 per cent of revenue, which would promote greater sales.

More than half of the business comes from sales and training in the eastern states, while a quarter comes from Western Australia and the rest through international sales.

“What we’ve found is the early adopters have been more in the US, Asia and the eastern states. We haven’t had much early adoption from Perth but that’s not to say we haven’t had some great partners here, particularly with (government) services so we can validate our technology. We’re keen to grow our presence in WA,” Mr Portlock said.

“This last year we’ve been building up our business and making sure we’re ready to respond to the market interest and having the associated training support. This year we’re really in a growth phase where we have a strong pipeline of sales,” he said.

Cyber Technology’s UAVs can take still, video, thermal and multispectral images, the latter used to check crop health, which Sandalford Winery recently trialled.

Mr Portlock said using UAVs in the agricultural industry was in its early days, but had potential. “We’re yet to see a huge market uptake but we haven’t really promoted it either, so we’ll be curious to see the amount of interest and how much that market will grow, once people are aware of the technology and the support we can provide in licensing,” he said.”

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