These newsletters aim to share updates, learnings, and guidance about our current (and future!) service deliveries. If you wish to subscribe, please email

NSW Shark Annual Stakeholder Survey 2023 

The NSW Government has invested over $85 million until 2026 to continue rolling out successfully trialled shark mitigation technologies along the NSW coastline.

Each year, the NSW Government checks in with beach users, coastal councils and other key stakeholders to understand community sentiment and confidence in the NSW Shark Management Program.

The annual survey seeks to measure sentiments about shark mitigation approaches currently used in NSW, and confidence in the Program which aims to reduce the risk of human-shark interactions at ocean beaches while minimising harm to sharks and other marine life.

The current Program includes:

  • SMART (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) drumlines
  • Tagged shark listening stations
  • Drone surveillance
  • Shark meshing
  • Community education and engagement programs
  • Research
  • Partnerships with Surfing NSW and Surf Life Saving NSW

The survey closed on Sunday, 19th February. We’ll look for further information to pass on in future updates.

AUAVS and the World Surf League
AUAVS and the World Surf League

AUAVS and the World Surf League 

The Tweed Coast Pro (Men’s & Women’s) QS5,000 saw a great team performance from the Far North Coast pilots, and some of the best surfers in the country.

In surfing competitions, aerial patrolling is taken to the next level with a two-pilot team providing constant coverage through overlapping flights. The AUAVS pilots take off before Heat 1 begins and remain in the air until the last athlete leaves the water at the end of the day’s competition.

The pilots are an integral part of the Water Safety Team which also includes a jet ski lifeguard and a lifeguard stationed on the beach. Together, the pilots and lifeguards actively monitor and manage any hazardous marine life that may be detected. This allows the competition to continue uninterrupted under most circumstances.

The Tweed Coast Pro pilot team was able to average 38 flights per day and cover an impressive distance of 955kms throughout the course of the event.

Well done everyone, we look forward to your performance at Snapper!


Recording and Reporting of Turtles and Jellyfish 

NSW Government (DPI) have requested if we can please collect footage of, and report via the Wildlife sighting function in AVCRM, sightings of jellyfish and turtles.


  • Utilise the same wildlife reporting function in AVCRM as sharks;
  • Try and add a size estimate;
  • Drop to 15 meters above water (make sure you have visual sight of the UAV while you are doing this!) and record footage per shark procedure.

Thermal Cameras 

Thermal imaging sensors are sometimes called thermal cameras, heat vision cameras, infrared cameras, or heat signature cameras.  All things that are above absolute zero (–273* celsius), the coldest temperature possible, give off heat energy.

This heat is created by the movement of atoms and molecules. The faster they move, the hotter the object is. We can’t see heat with our eyes, but we can feel it as warmth. Thermal cameras use special sensors to see heat energy, which is called infrared energy. Infrared energy can show differences in temperature between objects, but it can’t see through things. Thermal cameras allow us to measure temperature without touching the object.

Infrared radiation doesn’t pass through glass, it bounces off it instead. Because of this, the lenses on thermal cameras are usually made of Germanium which lets infrared radiation go through easily.

Which colour palette is best for thermal imaging?

The camera takes the infrared radiation and turns it into colours that we can see. The colours in a thermal image can look different depending on how the camera shows them. There are different colour palletes available, such as black hot, white-hot, fusion, and iron bow, that can be used to show the thermal image.

White hot and black hot are recommended for search and rescue because they show the objects with the biggest temperature difference. The hottest object will be white, and the coolest object will be black, or the other way around. Objects in between will be different shades of grey.

Try alternate pallets for things like roofs, solar panels, and outdoor electrical equipment. Lava and Arctic colour palettes make objects with different temperatures stand out more. These palettes work best when there is a big difference in temperature between objects.

AUAVS Aus Day;

AUAVS Australia Day Exhibit 

The Australian UAV Service was proud to showcase our capability and spread public awareness of our operations at a Circular Quay event on Australia Day. The exhibit was, of course, one of the more popular on the day with many of the public fascinated in our operations and efforts to support the community.

A huge thank you to Lizz and Ricky for their representation and engaging showcase of the growing and important work that we do!

Tip of the month

Each month we will provide some tips and tricks to help you use drones as efficiently and safely as possible.

Remember the importance of adhering to safety procedures and maintaining equipment in good condition. Please ensure that your Location Equipment Officer (LEO) is fully informed of any defects before logging them and obtain their permission prior to doing so.

Please note that batteries should never be left in direct sunlight, and the pelican case should always be in the shade and closed when not in immediate use. To maximize sun coverage, please use three sides of your tent. Furthermore, please avoid leaving the UAV in direct sunlight unless it is flying, even if you are taking a lunch or toilet break. Only defect UAV batteries that do not return to a normal shape after they have cooled down.

It is essential that everyone is familiar with the shark, turtle, and jellyfish spotting procedures and knows how to report them in AVCRM. Also, please ensure that you are aware of where to upload footage of these sightings. Remember to always fly within visual line of sight, never above 120m, and never beyond 500m. Unless a sea creature is detected, maintain a height of 60m. If a sea creature is detected, then lower the UAV to 15m for high-definition video. Keep an eye on the UAV as you descend, don’t simply rely on the altimeter!

Lastly, please be familiar with how to change the video resolution to 4k as it cannot remain in this mode at all times since it would only provide a 2x zoom.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our equipment and procedures up to the highest standard of safety and efficiency.