EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Building Australia’s Scalable Drone Cloud

Jens Klump1, Tim Brown2, Rohan Clarke3, Robert Glasgow3, Steve Micklethwaite4, Siddeswara Guru5, Beryl Morris5, Steve Quenette6, Tim Rawling7, Nathan Reid1, Susie Robinson8, and the ASDC Project Team*
Jens Klump et al.
  • 1Mineral Resources, CSIRO, Perth, Australia (
  • 2APPF, ANU, Canberra, Australia (
  • 3Monash Drone Discovery Platform, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (
  • 4Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (
  • 5TERN, Brisbane, Australia (
  • 6Monash eResearch Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (
  • 7AuScope, Melbourne, Australia (
  • 8APPC, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), commonly known as drones, provide sensing capabilities that address the critical scale-gap between ground- and satellite-based observations. Their versatility allows researchers to deliver near-real-time information for society.

Key to delivering RPA information is the capacity to enable researchers to systematically collect, process, manage and share RPA-borne sensor data. Importantly, this should allow vertical integration across scales and horizontal integration across different RPA deployments. However, as an emerging technology, the best practice and standards are still developing and the large data volumes collected during RPA missions can be challenging.

Australia’s Scalable Drone Cloud (ASDC) aims to coordinate and standardise how scientists from across earth, environmental and agricultural research manage, process and analyse data collected by RPA-borne sensors, by establishing best practices in managing 3D-geospatial data and aligned with the FAIR data principles.

The ASDC is building a cloud-native platform for research drone data management and analytics, driven by exemplar data management practices, data-processing pipelines, and search and discovery of drone data. The aim of the platform is to integrate sensing capabilities with easy-to-use storage, processing, visualisation and data analysis tools (including computer vision / deep learning techniques) to establish a national ecosystem for drone data management.

The ASDC is a partnership of the Monash Drone Discovery Platform, CSIRO and key National Collaborative Research Infrastructure (NCRIS) capabilities including the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF), Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), and AuScope.

This presentation outlines the roadmap and first proof-of-concept implementation of the ASDC.

ASDC Project Team:

ASDC Project Team at Monash University, AuScope, Australian National University, CSIRO, TERN, University of Adelaide, and University of Queensland.

How to cite: Klump, J., Brown, T., Clarke, R., Glasgow, R., Micklethwaite, S., Guru, S., Morris, B., Quenette, S., Rawling, T., Reid, N., and Robinson, S. and the ASDC Project Team: Building Australia’s Scalable Drone Cloud, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3820,, 2021.


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