Remote sensing with UAVs

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems are enhancing tropical research and environmental management at James Cook University


Also know as:

  • RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
  • UAS - Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Drones

These systems provide low-cost, high resolution data for environmental mapping, monitoring and management. JCU researchers, working closely with industry partners, use these systems to improve our understanding of marine and terrestrial environments by complimenting traditional fieldwork and satellite data with information collected using drones.


Using a range of sensors including hyperspectral, thermal and photogrammetric cameras with lidar and sonar, JCU researchers are mapping and monitoring:

  • terrestrial and marine habitats and biodiversity;
  • invasive species such as weeds, ferals and other agricultural pests;
  • vegetation health and biomass;
  • crop yields and growth; and
  • post disaster impacts and recovery (e.g., cyclone or flood).


JCU has:

  • 10+ trained pilots engaging in research
  • CASA approval for flights
  • wide range of research programs
  • various CASA registered aircraft
  • clubs competing in UAV competitions

Meet some of our aircrafts...

SkyJib x4 name 'Dino'


2x 3DR Solo + accessories -- named 'Rainbow Night' & 'Betty'

3DR solo