Airborne Research Australia (ARA) was established in 1996 with funding from the Commonwealth Government's Major National Research Facilities Programme and Flinders University as a 100% self-funding research institute within the University.
In January 2016 - through substantial and on-going donations from the Hackett Foundation - ARA became an independent Commonwealth Approved Research Institute in the form of a Not-For-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee (ARSA Ltd) trading under the name ARA.
The core activity of ARA is the use of airborne platforms (special mission aircraft) for a wide range applications and projects, mainly in the Environmental Research & Development area. Most of these projects are based on collaborations with colleagues and institutions within Australia and internationally.
ARA currently operate a variety of RIEGL LiDAR sensors and have developed an array of software workflows to refine data acquired to final deliverables;
Full waveform scanning LiDAR RIEGL Q-560
(up to 240kHz pulse rate, operating at 1550nm)
Full waveform scanning LiDAR RIEGL Q-680i-S
(up to 400kHz pulse rate, operating at 1064nm)
Bathymetric scanning LiDAR RIEGL VQ-820G
(operating at 532nm which enables penetration through water)
Mapping the extent of bush fire destruction from above using airborne LiDAR
In this project, ARA employed their Riegl LMS-Q680i topographic Lidar system to map various areas in South Australia that were effected by the devastating 2020 Australian bush fires. After combining the resulting LiDAR point cloud with corresponding RGB imagery, the resulting data illustrates just how much damage and destruction was caused by the extreme conditions during this historical fire event.