The Gidarjil Development Corporation has just been announced as a recipient of a 5G Innovation Grant which will give rangers the ability to stream HD video from aerial and underwater drones.
The grant, administered by the Federal Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, will execute a 5G Proof of Concept for streaming the HD videos.
There are many applications for the emerging technology including land and underwater environmental recording and mapping to analyse changing conditions, shark spotting and feral animal management including fox detection, pig detection and dingo detection.
The technology can also be used in cultural burn management including fire detection, tracking and monitoring.
The grant provides $284,000 in funding for two trials, the first at Bargara Basin and Mon Repos beach, Bundaberg; and the second at Double Island, north of Cairns.
While there will be many opportunities to utilise the technology for research and scientific purposes, the trial will firstly focus on reconnecting Elders with the traditional land and sea country of their youth, and bringing stories to life utilising video of cultural sites.
Video captured by the drones will be live streamed back to base and made available to a wider audience through the internet.
Gidarjil will partner with two existing drone operation companies who currently work with the Gidarjil Land and Sea Ranger program – Drone Training Solutions and SeeUnderSea; as well as 5G technology specialists, MobileCorp.
Dr Kerry Blackman, Gidarjil Development Corporation CEO, said the Corporation was proud to be a leader in technology innovation and expected the grant project would result in tangible benefits for the local and wider community.
“This 5G Innovation grant and the project it will fund, has the potential to deliver important commercial, environmental, employment and social opportunities to local indigenous people and also to the wider North Queensland community,” he said.
“The ability to stream HD video from aerial and underwater drones will develop a new way to bring our traditional land and sea country to a wider audience, and also to advance the economic prospects and employment prospects of our young people and the region.
“Gidarjil recently established Gulya First Nation Drone Services (GFNDS) which offers drone services across several commercial government sectors.
“This 5G grant project will upskill our Land and Sea Ranger drone operators and position GFNDS as a leader in drone service operations.”