[LINK] CT: Commercial drone shot down

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Feb 19 12:01:24 AEDT 2019

[Not in Montana, but in country ACT.
[Mt Tennent is a 1350m peak just outside the SSW edge of Canberra.

[Not a Project Wing device, but an Evoenergy device on survey work.
[That's the ActewAGL electricity and gas distribution division.]

Commercial drone shot down, police launch investigation
Blake Foden
The Canberra Times
February 17, 2019 — 1.11am

Police have started an investigation after a commercial drone understood 
to be worth almost $500,000 was shot down in a rural part of the ACT.

An ACT Policing spokesman confirmed officers responded to the incident 
in Tennent about 2.15pm on Thursday, February 14.

"Investigations into this matter remain ongoing," he said.

It is understood Evoenergy was using the drone to carry out surveying 
work when it was shot down near Apollo Road, and that local landholders 
had not been notified of the surveying work.

The drone and the equipment it was fitted with are understood to be 
worth nearly $500,000.

Evoenergy declined to answer questions about the incident. A spokeswoman 
said inquiries about "any matters related to unlawful behaviour" should 
be directed to ACT Policing.

Evoenergy's 2018 annual planning report said the company trialled the 
use of drones equipped with light detection and ranging technology last 
year and planned to test it further in 2019.

Known as LIDAR, light detection and ranging is a remote surveying method 
that measures the distance to a target by illuminating the target with 
pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor.

According to the Evoenergy report, drones with light detection and 
ranging capability could capture better data and photos from 30 metres 
above the ground than a helicopter could from 300 metres in the air.

"The results from the trial are promising with Evoenergy to further 
operationalise the use of drones to perform LIDAR scans to inspect and 
detect vegetation near power lines and other assets," the report said.

"We look forward to further testing the feasibility of the technology by 
scanning larger areas of our network in 2019 and using the data to 
maintain vegetation clearance, identify network defects to keep the 
network safe and reliable while improving our customer service and 
satisfaction at the same time."

Andrew Geikie, who owns farmland in Lanyon, not far from Tennent, said 
he had seen an increased number of drones in the rural area in recent years.

Mr Geikie said farmers were generally wary of unannounced drones in case 
they were being used by criminals or animal activists to spy on their 

"We've found a few in the paddocks too, where people have obviously 
flown them out of range and crashed," he said.

"From a farming perspective, I can understand being wary of drones, but 
I wouldn't shoot one down.

"There are better ways to handle things."

ACT Policing said anyone with information about the incident should 
contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT 

Information can be provided anonymously, quoting reference number 6363695.

Roger Clarke                            mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
T: +61 2 6288 6916   http://www.xamax.com.au  http://www.rogerclarke.com

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA 

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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