Elbit Systems of Australia’s Centre of Excellence, RMIT partner to protect Australians from natural disaster

The pair have teamed up to deliver uncrewed technologies that protect lives during natural disasters and emergency scenarios.

Announced at the Elbit Systems of Australia (ELSA) Centre of Excellence open day in Melbourne on the 6th of June, the two-year partnership will see the pair carry out two joint research projects on the use of drones during natural disasters and emergency situations.

Major General (Ret’d) Paul McLachlan AO, CSC, ELSA managing director, welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with RMIT, expecting that the partnership will deliver cutting-edge research that keeps Australians safe.

“Our partnership with RMIT University demonstrates that we are determined to create solutions to deal with the complex problems that emergency management organisations face during natural disasters,” McLachlan said. 

“The projects will research how to use drones to count the number of people in designated evacuation zones, then to co-ordinate and communicate the most efficient evacuation routes to everyone in the zone, as well as monitoring the area to ensure that everyone has been accounted for.”

The use of drone technology during national disasters is expected to address key recommendations laid out within the October 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, noting that “effective national coordination will be a critical capability in managing natural disasters on a national scale or with national consequences. Arrangements need to be clear, robust and accountable”.

“It is rare that an emergency management organisation has access to research and development money to spend as most funding goes to operations that is spent – and quite rightly – on appliances and people,” McLachlan continued.

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