January 29, 2000 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Lawrence
Hargrave arguably, the father of Australian Aviation.
To mark the special occasion, Monash University's 'Aerobotics Research
and Development Group' flew a number of missions with their U.A.V
(unmanned aerial vehicle) systems from the V.A.R.M.S model aircraft
field in suburban Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Images from the day's events were recorded for posterity ....enjoy.
To further mark the occasion, Dr Greg Holland, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Aerosonde Ltd, presented Monash with an Aerosonde to be named in honour of Lawrence Hargrave.
Professor John Bird, Terry Cornall, the future Aerosonde "Lawrence Hargrave", Dr Greg Holland and Ray Cooper
The system is to be used within a collaborative research and
development program between Aerosonde Ltd. and the university's Centre
for Telecommunications and Information Engineering (CTIE), under the
direction of Professor Greg Egan.
"The loan of the Aerosonde test-bed aircraft system represents the
first stage of what we see as an important strategic collaboration with
Monash University." Dr. Greg Holland said.
"The Aerosonde is a product of creative research that started almost a
decade ago and we look forward to the planned collaborative work on
camera and imaging systems, secure data transmissions and control
systems emerging to support our needs over the next decade."
"Our vision is of a global autonomous airline based in Melbourne.
Rather than transporting people, this airline will provide essential
information for meteorology, air-sea rescue, customs interdiction and a
wide range of other applications.
This vision moves one step closer over the next six months as the
Bureau of Meteorology conducts a major series of trials with Aerosonde
operations in Bass Straight."
"Aerosonde Ltd is strongly committed developing university research
interests in autonomous aircraft and related systems. The company will
continue fund the substantial level of research and development that is
required for us to develop into one of the major international
operators of civilian UAVs."
"We look forward to the collaboration with Monash leading to the
generation of creative ideas and attracting bright young minds to work
in our industry, all of which are crucial to our continued success."
"I am particularly pleased to be making this presentation on the eve of
the 150th anniversary of the birth of Lawrence Hargrave. I grew up in
Wollongong and recall standing on Stanwell Tops and imagining the type
of person that he must have been.
To arrive at an idea, to construct the machine, and then to launch
oneself into space to prove that it works required a rare combination
of intellect and engineering ability, with perhaps a dash of sheer
"The aircraft that we are providing to Monash is being renamed
'Lawrence Hargrave' to mark the occasion. This will be the first of a
series of Aerosondes to be named after Australian aviation pioneers."
Dr. Greg Holland, Director, Strategic Planning, Aerosonde Ltd.
January 28, 2000
Ray Cooper, Monash University's UAV pilot, gets a briefing from Gavin Brett, Lead Development Engineer for Aerosonde Ltd.
Aerosonde "Lawrence Hargrave" will be configured to fly under the
prevailing Australian Radio Control (ARC) regulations which apply to
model aircraft pilots.
Ray Cooper, a highly experienced 'RC' aircraft builder, pilot is also a
longstanding member of the V.A.R.M.S group which have kindly provided
access to Monash R&D team to the club's field in South Wantirna
(Melbourne Australia), for some of Monash's UAV missions and tests.
Ray, who is actively involved Monash University's CTIE's projects
researching live video imaging and telepresence control systems, has
also kindly provided access to a number of his own aircraft for use in test flights conducted over the past two months.
Dr Greg Holland, Professor John Bird and the future Aerosonde "Lawrence Hargrave"
Only a few days later it was down to the Aerosonde headquarters (now
located near Monash) for the actual handover of the aircraft
Brian Taylor, Business Manager, Aerosonde Ltd. 'shakes on the deal' with Monash University's Sonja Ahrens
At the rear Aerosonde's Gavin Brett (partially hidden) Ray Cooper and also hidden Professor Greg Egan
Aerosonde's Gavin Brett, briefing Monash's Professor Greg Egan and Sonja Ahrens
Does the phrase "like a kid (or kids in this case) with a new toy" sound familiar?
Smiles all round from Ray (me first) Cooper, Professor Greg (you like working at Monash Ray?) Egan and Sonja (hey ! ladies first PLEASE !) Ahrens
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