Aerial robots

REF owns and operates a fleet of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) commonly called UAVs or drones, to support and enable the diverse research projects conducted by QUT staff and students. REF supports a wide range of data and image capture requirements for research, facility monitoring and media requirements. Additionally, REF conducts enabling research into RPAS equipage, unmanned traffic management systems (UTM) and cooperative multi-agent systems (aka swarms).

QUT is a CASA certified commercial operator of RPAS and holds remote operators certificate (ReOC) CASA.ReOC.0466. Currently, our ReOC permits operations of multi-rotor RPAS’ up to 25kg maximum take-off weight (MTOW) anywhere in Australia, under the following conditions:

  • extended line-of-sight (day or night) – out to 5.6km from pilot in command (platform specific),
  • below 400ft AGL
  • not within 3nm of a towered aerodrome
  • not within 15m of the general public


Type MTOW Endurance Payload Quantity
DJI M600 Pro 15.1kg 16 mins @ 6kg
Up to 40 mins with no payload
Up to 6kg 3
DJI s800 EVO 7kg 12 mins @ 2 kg Up to 2kg 4
DJI Inspire 2 4kg 27 mins 560g 1
DJI Mavic Pro 743g 21 mins NA 1
DJI Phantom 3 Professional 1.28kg Up to 20 mins NA 1
Silvertone Flamingo (fixed wing) 20kg 4 hours Up to 2.5kg 1
CyberTech CyberEye II (fixed wing) 80kg 4+ hours Up to 20kg 1
M600 with custom 2-axis gimbal housing hyperspectral camera
s800 fitted with thermal/IR camera, used to survey koala numbers in the Gold Coast, Tweed and Logan areas.
CyberEye II RPAS