Vision for the project

to develop a roadmap for the use of emerging aviation technology in bushfire management, which will: 

  • Deliver an emerging aviation technology bushfire research strategy and operational implementation pathway
  • Build clarity on intended use cases for drones in the reduction of risk and impact of bushfires in Australia 
  • Identify and recommend research priorities to further enhance national capability to respond to bushfires in the future  
  • Bridge the gap between research institutions and fire and emergency services on the ground and support them to articulate their research needs


Have your say on the adoption of aviation technology for fire management with this survey: Get your responses in by 12 August 2024 to support our Drones and Bushfire Capability project:

Funded by the Department of Infrastructure under the Disaster Risk Reduction Package from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), this research works directly with our partners in FireTech Connect.  

This project engages a comprehensive review and assessment of existing UAV (unmanned arial vehicle i.e. drone) technologies and their applicability to bushfire management operations, encompassing capabilities, limitations, and operational considerations. Insights and potential challenges for the implementation of UAVs are gathered from engagement with key stakeholders, including fire and land managers, regulatory authorities, and technology developers.  

Roadmaps to the implementation of UAVs are developed and subjected to rigorous testing to evaluate their performance, reliability, and suitability for operational deployment. An evaluation plan is also developed, to measure the effectiveness of integrating UAVs in bushfire management operations, specifically focusing on their impact in reducing disaster risk.  

Chief Investigators

Project Team

Prof Robert Mahony
A/Prof Andrew Tridgell
Dr Nick Wilson