Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Biosecurity
19 biosEcurity Ground covEr survEillAncE ruSt DiSeASeS of GrAin cropS – WhAt cAn trAVellerS Do? When visiting farms overseas you could bring home more than new ideas and interesting photographs. Pests could also hitch a ride to Australia on your clothes. The GRDC produced the leaflet Rust diseases of grain crops – What can travellers do? This provides travellers with some guidance on what to do before returning to Australia and where more information can be found. The leaflet is one of the resources located at Biosecurity Links on the GRDC website, www.grdc.com.au/biosecuritylinks roBotic Surveillance flying spore traps offer a rapid method of surveying large areas for fungal pathogens by felipe Gonzalez tHe MaIn lIMItatIons with existing fungal spore traps are that they are static and cannot be used in inaccessible locations. therefore, researchers associated with the Cooperative research Centre for national Plant Biosecurity (CrCnPB) proposed the development of lightweight, on-the-go sampling devices that could be mounted on autonomously controlled aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles (uavs). three years on, prototypes have been built and tested successfully. a fundamental challenge for the team was to ensure that the spores that entered the trap were captured immediately so the correct location of the spores could be recorded. static spore traps capture airborne particles on a sticky tape, which passes an opening for a predetermined time. Moving spore traps need to be able to record based on location and time and to deal with the change of air movement created as the aircraft moves through the air. the first step for the project team was to modify the existing prototype spore trap developed by les Zeller, from the Queensland Department of employment, economic Development and Innovation, for mounting on an uav. uavs range in capacity and payload but can fly up to 12-hour daylight missions at approximately 100 kilometres per hour. Consequently, the spore trap had to be able to perform when moving at speeds of up to 40 metres per second. Wind tunnel tests were conducted to detect spores with known characteristics and to understand the probability of false alarms. these tests were successful and allowed the spread of spores captured on the tape to be calculated. the spore trap was then integrated into the uav, which is fitted with on-board autopilot systems. the uav was flown autonomously and the tape index was programmed to shift to a predefined sampling location once the desired waypoint or infestation was reached. the test flights confirmed that the uav could be flown autonomously without exhibiting any flight stability issues while the spore trap was onboard. Furthermore, the onboard tape-indexing system was validated to function remotely with the reference position being verified via ground station software. From this research, the team developed a sampling system able to spatially monitor fungal spores and define protocols to interpret their spatial distribution. this breakthrough has greatly enhanced the ability to detect new incursions of fungal pathogens and their geographic spread. this technology will allow for earlier detection of plant disease incursions in difficult areas and provide efficient and effective airborne surveillance. the design and testing of this device has been and continues to be a complex, multidisciplinary task involving different researchers and specialists in aerodynamics, structural biological sampling, flight control and avionics. Further research will be conducted to refine the flying spore trap for use by plant health surveillance staff employed by state and federal agencies. another option could be to use the flying spore traps for the early identification of outbreaks of plant pathogens that already cause diseases in australian crops. □ research code: crcnPb project – the Grdc is a partner in the crcnPb more information: dr felipe Gonzalez, lecturer, Queensland University of Technology and Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation, 07 3138 1363, firstname.lastname@example.org A spore trap mounted in an unmanned aerial vehicle (uAV) is proving to be a promising method for collecting samples over large areas and inaccessible locations.
GC Supplement - Capacity building
GC Supplement - Grain storage