Drone, space, balloon technology developed by father and son at West Wyalong to help save lives

Drone, space, balloon technology developed by father and son at West Wyalong to help save lives

You wouldn’t automatically count on a regional town recognised for its gold mining and agriculture to be the up coming “centre of drone excellence”, but this father and son did. 

Flight Design analysis and improvement manager Robert Brand and his son, Jason, are location up a facility at West Wyalong in the New South Wales Riverina to research, build, and analyse aerospace and area hardware.

The 70-year-old has significant hopes for some of the potentially “lifesaving” components.

He reported it could have been useful in the course of the Black Summer months bushfires and latest flood emergency in the east of the country.

“My home was 1 of the very first pretty much to be burnt down in the 2019 fires in Hazelbrook [in the Blue Mountains],” he mentioned.

“This adjustments the total game, entirely.”

An older man stands next to his younger son with clouds behind them.
Father and son Robert and Jason Brand name are aerospace innovators.(ABC Riverina: Shannon Corvo)

Tests technologies

The facility will also host workshops for individuals seeking to find out how to fly drones, get their licences, and supply a house for organisations to take a look at their own know-how.

The Makes started working on a venture to send balloons into the sky that will stabilise at an altitude of about 16 kilometres, something Robert Model explained had never been achieved.

“They’ll have solar electricity, they will have batteries, they’re going to be able to just motor gently in opposition to the wind up there, which is pretty light,” he stated.

“We can fly a procedure to a disaster zone and offer visuals of what’s heading on, and give radio communications to men and women on the ground.

“If we can do that, it will change this place.”

The most latest balloon start, which contained a prototype sensor for a long term mission to Mars, testing flight units, cameras, controllers, and stabilisers, was a achievement.

A younger man kneeling on the ground holding onto a huge balloon filling with helium with his father holding on as well.
Planning the balloon for start to check sensors, cameras, and flight techniques.(ABC Riverina: Shannon Corvo)

Mr Brand claimed the know-how could also be employed by farmers, universities, house enterprises and environmental personnel.

“We’ll see drone action multiply by, I don’t know, I am forecasting about 20-fold in the future 5 a long time,” he said.

Built initial drone as 11yo

At 20, Jason Manufacturer is the CEO of Flight Layout.

He is also the youngest person to acquire the Australian Business and Defence Community Young Achiever New South Wales award.

A young man with wavy short hair sits at a foldout table with his computer and a contraption next to him.
Jason Manufacturer has been tinkering with engineering from an early age.(ABC Riverina: Shannon Corvo)

“I was nine years outdated the initial time we went on a balloon launch,” he mentioned. 

“Lengthy story shorter: the novice radio club we knew were being heading to do 1.

“They claimed, ‘It’s as well tough, we are not going to do it’, so unhappy and I determined that we desired to and it all begun from there.”

Increasing up, faculty hardly ever agreed with Jason. He barely got his Larger College Certificate.

So, he took issues into his very own fingers, pretty much.

Jason constructed his 1st drone at the age of 11, and put alongside one another pcs shortly following.

An older man bends down to look at a wooden and aluminium contraption with metal legs being built by his son.
Robert and Jason prepare to start a weather balloon hooked up to flight-process sensors.(ABC Riverina: Shannon Corvo)

Rough, but worthwhile

Robert is effective closely with his son to create never-just before-utilized technological innovation.

They each have a shared eyesight to innovate and improve methods.

Initially, Robert, with his lifetime of experience functioning for telecommunications providers and even the Apollo 11 mission, was primary the demand.

But that has not long ago improved, with Jason using handle.

An almost full balloon floats in the air above five people keeping it steady.
It was a workforce effort and hard work to fill the balloon with helium devoid of it floating away.(ABC Riverina: Shannon Corvo)

It has been really the journey.

“It can be rough. It can be very tough,” Jason laughed.

“It can, but it can be seriously worthwhile too,” Robert chimed in. 

“The most essential detail is location these boundaries and knowing the variation involving perform and basically remaining father and son,” Jason stated.

Exceptional possibility

Bland Shire Council govt assistant Julie Sharpe said it was an “fascinating possibility” for West Wyalong.

A woman with short blonde hair wearing a Bland Shire Council polo shirt looks into the distance with clouds behind her.
Bland Shire Council’s Julie Sharpe hardly ever predicted the agricultural town to grow to be so targeted on technology.(ABC Riverina: Shannon Corvo)

The council employed neighborhood and regional contractors to build the hangar at the airport.

“We can be at the forefront as a result of our partnership in the progress and testing of this new and contemporary technological innovation, which is only likely to develop in several years to come,” Ms Sharpe claimed.