The Lead South Australia

News leads from South Australia

Get The Lead in your inbox. Subscribe

Drones to monitor longest fence in world


AIRBORNE drone technology is being developed to monitor the world’s longest fence, which is used as a feral pest barrier in outback Australia.

Print article Republish Notify me

Sign up to receive notifications about new stories in this category.

Thank you for subscribing to story notifications.

Largely located in remote, central Australia, the Dingo Fence runs continuously for 5400 kilometres – more than twice the length of the Great Wall of China – to protect grazing livestock from wild dogs and the native dingo population.

Landowners spend more than $7000 a year each on wild dog management while the total financial cost to agricultural industries in the sector was estimated at $66 million in 2004.

Unmanned Research Aircraft FacilityURAF

South Australian Minister for Agriculture Leon Bignell said $100,000 would go towards a trial on the use of drones.

“Feral animals and pests like wild dogs destroy infrastructure and livestock and their numbers are growing as they move further south across pastoral land,’’ he said.

“The use of drones to inspect fences will save time, money and effort.’’

Deputy director of the URAF, Dr Ramesh Raja Segaran said they plan to have two drones flying along the fence within three months.

“Identifying the best suited unmanned aircraft to be used, such as rotor or fixed wing drones, the potential limitations of the craft and the height the craft will fly at are just some of the questions will need to answer before we launch the drones.’’

It is likely the two drones will be powered by lithium polymer batteries and have flight times between 15-60 minutes. A technician will need to be nearby to replace batteries and monitor the craft

Dr Segaran said the drones will target identified problem areas along the fence.

“The drones will be fitted with light weight cameras and heat imaging technology to monitor the fence and hopefully also any wild dogs in the area which may help to indicate weak spots within the fence line,” he said.

The drones could be remotely controlled or use automated flight plans to carry out their inspections and may conduct night flights.

“There will be a lot of learning as we go as we create the most effective outcome,’’ Dr Segaran said.

“We will be working on the cutting edge of this technology as we pose and answer questions and overcome obstacles to find quality solutions.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story. Copied to Clipboard

More Uncategorized stories

Loading next article