The Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has earmarked grants to help small to large businesses in Australia test and develop 5G uses, applications, services and products. Swoop Aero is one of up to 19 recipients to have received funding to trial the use of 5G under the 5G Innovation Initiative.
During the trial, Swoop Aero will deliver lessons learnt operating under the African sun to Australian skies through two commercial applications of advanced drone technology:
- Aeromedical deliveries, including delivering pathology samples and medical supplies such as COVID-19 vaccines from local medical centres to hospitals and testing laboratories while providing real-time monitoring and notifications, and;
- Coastal patrol and emergency response, involving utilising automated drone technology, including using 5G technology to facilitate high-quality live streaming to be used by computer vision models to identify shark sightings and drowning incidents accurately. Introducing 5G-enhanced mobile broadband to allow ultra-reliable and low-latency communication equips drone logistics networks with more extensive network coverage, improved operational uptime, and sophisticated technical capabilities such as real-time tracking and monitoring. It will address current challenges faced by these industries, and unlock the skies for further drone logistic network use cases into the future.
Swoop Aero’s aircraft take the lessons learnt from commercial and military air transport to enable Swoop Aero to deploy low cost, asset-light, agile, autonomous aviation systems. The announcement follows the launch of Swoop Aero’s most advanced aircraft, Kite. Developed by Swoop Aero’s team of Australian-based engineers, Kite can travel up to 200km per hour and can operate across geographical ranges of more than 180 kilometres on a single battery charge with a payload capacity of up to 5 kgs.
The Australian 5G Innovation Initiative is an open, competitive grants program to help small to large businesses in Australia test and develop 5G uses, applications, services and products. The initiative was announced as part of the 2020–21 Budget’s JobMaker Digital Business Plan and assists in demonstrating the value of 5G to businesses in Australia. The program will run over three years from 2020–21 to 2022–23.
The program provides businesses in different industry sectors and locations with opportunities to trial and test applications that demonstrate 5G’s capability and benefits.
The projects being funded under the Initiative will use a range of complementary technologies to take the benefits of 5G further, such as Internet of Things devices, edge computing, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality.
The 19 projects will trial 5G across key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport and education and training. The trials will take place across Australia, in five different states and in a mix of urban and regional areas. The organisations involved in projects include businesses, educational institutions, and local governments.
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