Can Anyone Find Outback Joe?

Outback Joe’s all set to go missing … but never fear, the UAVs are here!

This is the fifth year that Joe’s gone missing somewhere near Kingaroy, and the fifth time that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been despatched from around the world to find him.

That’s probably why some people would say “Outback Joe” is a real dummy…

A total of 23 teams will be competing in the 2012 Outback Challenge which gets under way at Kingaroy Airport tomorrow (Monday).

In the Search and Rescue Challenge teams must launch aircraft capable of searching a four square mile area, up to five nautical miles from Kingaroy Airport.

The “target” is a  dummy (that’s “Outback Joe”) positioned “in a typical resting pose in a rural setting”.

The GPS co-ordinates of the search area are provided to each team and their unmanned aircraft must not travel outside the search area or transit lane.

When a team locates Outback Joe, they must provide the GPS co-ordinates to the judges. If their UAV is within 100m of Joe’s location, the team will then be given approval to deliver the emergency package. This consists of 500ml of water which must be dropped as closely as possible to Joe (without landing on him). The UAV must then return to the Kingaroy airport for recovery.