September 2014


It is with great pleasure that we announce a significant change to our current company structure. 

With effect from October 1st 2014 the company has been sold to our long serving technical expert and systems integrator Dr Tim Brooks. 

Tim will carry the company into the future as Skycam UAV 2014 Ltd adding his ideas and plans going forward, in doing so he will continue to support all existing clients whilst developing and expanding the current client base.  

Skycam UAV NZ Ltd will continue into the foreseeable future to assist in the transition period between ownership and to ensure existing customers continued support . Contact details for Skycam UAV 2014 Ltd will be advised in due course by direct email and via the Kahunet web site. 

Both Lew and I had long planned (and hoped) for this succession to Tim at some point,  failing health and advancing years decided the time was now right and believe me not an easy decision to make. 

Whilst Tim and his new company will carry on the day to day business Skycam UAV has built up it will not see the end of Lew and my involvement. I have agreed with Tim to carry on in a “back seat” mentoring/support role with Lew providing composite services and off shore/local flying roles as and when required.  

We hope you will all extend to Tim the support given to us over the years, Lew and I are truly grateful and thankful for the support you’ve given us. We have appreciated not only your business but the friendship and comradery that came with it and hope that it may long continue! 

Finally Lew and I wish Tim all the best for the future and know with his level of expertise, skill and knowledge the company remains in safe hands.

August 2014

Pix4Dmapper releases Version 1.2 software full details on our image processing page.

June 2014

Skycam UAV in conjunction with the University of Queensland conduct ground breaking UAV flights on the slopes of Mt Kinabalu in Borneo east Malaysia!

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Read all about the flights here

Video coming soon!

May 2014

Extremely busy month for Skycam with the delivery and crew training of a new SwampFox X5 UAS to the Australian Dept for the Enviroment in Darwin NT.

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Skycam UAV is also extremely excited to have been offered (and accepted) the NZ agency for the outstanding Pix4Dmapper image processing software designed specifically for the UAS industry,

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Click here for more details.

This software opens a new dimension for Skycam enabling a total "turn key" mapping solution for prospective clients from aircraaft data aquisition to final processing in one easy to use package! 

February 2014

Skycam Director Lew Woods received the NZ GSM and NZ Operational Service medal at a ceromony at the Defence Technology Agency at Devonport Naval Base.

The medals presented are in recognition of the role Lew played during his time in Afghanistan supporting the NZDF Kahu UAS system deployed to the region.

lew medals

SwampFox UAV features on TV One 6pm National News programme with some exciting flight operations being carried out in the Taylor dry lake area.


January 2014


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Skycam UAV is proud to support AUT's research programme on the ice this 2014 season.

Prof John Brooks AUT's UAS mission commander will spend most of January using the Skycam built and designed SwampFox UAV to conduct aerial survey of cyanobacterial mats in the McMurdo Taylor Dry Valley region.

Have a look on our Videos tab at a short clip taken from the SwampFox flight over Spaulding Pond.



Skycam UAV features on TV One national news!

Check out the link below to see another positive use for UAV in this case helping to protecting NZ's primary industries.

SwampFox is fully compliant with CAA approved night operations and is the ideal solution to conducting this type of survey. View the link below to see an inovative use of UAS technology combined with "state of the art" thermal imaging cameras.

See more on our SwampFox page.

October 2013

Success in the outback


The operation in the Australian Outback was a success! This video shows a rundown of a typical Swampfox flight.  The operators would normally do 3-5 such flights in a day (depending on weather and lighting conditions).

As you can see from the video, the terrain is rough and filled with trees.  What you won't see is that the temperature is above 40 degrees Celcius and the humidity is through the roof.  Dehydration and heatstroke were serious concerns so each member of the team helped ensure that all other members were drinking enough and staying out of the sun as much as possible.  It is these 'human factors' that must be considered when planning a UAS operation, which is why Skycam covers these factor in detail in our training program.

The information gathered from this operation will be used to monitor the health of the local ecosystem.  The data will be used to ensure that the environment is not harmed by any mining operations in the area.  Ultimately, this environmental monitoring can be used to develop mining techniques that do not affect the environment during the life of the mine, thus reducing the cost and time to return the land to its original state.

Congratulations to CMLR for another job well done and watch this space for some results of the operation as they become available.

October 2013 

SF cases closedGCS yellow case
SF case open

Continuing the partnershp between Skycam UAV and the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation at Queensland University, Skycam has increased the portability and ruggedness of the Swampfox UAS.

Two ultra-tough Pelican cases are now all that's needed to take your UAS operation to the work site.  The black case pictured above contains the Swampfox airframe along with sensors; launch kit and spare parts; while the yellow case securely houses the Ground Control Station.  Simply get to the launch site and go.  The cases are light enough to carry on domestic and international airlines yet strong enough to ensure that the kit is in one piece even after a trip along a rough off-road track.

Skycam UAVs own Lew Woods was on site in Darwin to demonstrate this capability to CMLR and their clients.

January 2013.



Skycam has introduced this year a short (3 day) course for potential UAS operators that want to know more about UAS. The course will explain how they operate, the regulations surrounding their operation and finally a "hands-on" flight beyond visual range (BVR) in Skycam's 65 sq km UAS test site in Northern Wairarapa.

To find out more about the course, cost and schedule check it out on our services page.

November 30th 2012

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After much hard work and effort our Systems Integrator Dr Tim Brooks graduated from Massey University with his PhD.

Tim has been working on his thesis the last 4 years and Skycam has been proud to support him during this time in assisting him to achieve this fine goal.

The title of his thesis was Local Area Positioning of Multiple Moving Objects. Tim focused on the modelling and optimization of a position tracking system. The primary application is in Rugby-player tracking for sports analysis. He found that in a typical game a time based system with eight (8) receivers can calculate player positions to better than half-metre accuracy 99% of the time when receivers are correctly placed and a specialized recovery algorithm is applied.

Congratulations Tim! and this only serves to reinforce Tim's vitally important role on our team and within the Skycam organisation.

 November 1st 2012


Our partnership with the University of Queensland took a pleasant turn when Skycam's senior partner  Mr Lew Woods was conferred with an Industry Fellowship by the universities Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation. 

This honary title has been conferred for Lew's on going flying work with the university operating UAS on various mining sites all over Australia. For Skycam this opens up an entire new area of operation and compliments the existing work being carried out in this feild in New Zealand. 2013 is certainly looking to become an exciting year for the continuing growth of our UAS industry.

September 2012.

AUT group photo.jpg                   AUT Kahu pictures 005.jpg

Skycam UAV NZ Ltd is proud to announce the sale of a Kahu UAS to (AUT) Auckland University of Technology. AUT is the first NZ university to add a UAS to their research tool box and the UAV is to be used for a host of research tasks from Maui dolphin survey to kauri forest dieback! as the AUT blog goes on to explain:

 "The School of Applied Sciences at Auckland University of Technology has recently entered into an agreement with Skycam UAV of Palmerston North to purchase a Kahu Hawk Unmanned Aerial System for our conservation research. The three senior researchers will document our experiences in learning to fly the Hawk and applying it to our projects".

This blog will ultimately be viewable worldwide. We will invite comment and suggestions later, but the first posts will be about our learning to fly the AUT Hawk and collection of first data sets. View here

September 2010.

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Skycam is proud to announce the sale of a complete Kahu UAS including upgraded sensor  suite to the University of Queensland, Australia.

Kahu will be used by the university to monitor mined land rehabilitation progress thru high resolution imagery to identify areas of ground cover  requiring closer investigation.

Media release

Skycam launches NZ on world UAS market

Skycam UAV NZ Limited has triumphed over intense international competition to give New Zealand its first unmanned aerial system (UAS) export order.

The Palmerston North based company has sold its Kahu UAS to Australia to conduct surveillance of mined land rehabilitiation.

Skycam's co-founder/director Rene Redmond said the sale, to the University of Queensland, represents the start of a new era for the aviation industry in New Zealand - and the achievement of a 20-year ambition.

 ‘Skycam is the first New Zealand company to develop, manufacture and sell a fixed wing UAS both nationally and overseas.'

‘Kahu was chosen by the university over systems from four other countries due to its operational features and because we customised it to meet the customer's exact requirements. As well, it is around half the price of rival systems and its reliability has been proven by five years in field service with the New Zealand Army.'

The University of Queensland is using Kahu to monitor mined land rehabilitation throughout Australia, obtaining high resolution imagery from the onboard sensors which include a still camera, gimballed video and forward looking infra-red (FLIR) cameras.

Dr Andrew Fletcher, of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland said their primary interest was in the quality of the still imagery that can be collected. We required a platform that is highly customisable but able to be transported as checked luggage, he said.

‘Most importantly, we needed a highly responsive company that can modify and develop equipment to reach [our] specific goals. '

After a search lasting approximately three years and involving UAS manufacturers from several countries the University found it took less than six months to acquire what they wanted from Skycam.

‘Which considering the level of specification we were looking for is remarkable,' said Dr Fletcher.

 He said described working with New Zealand's Defence Technology Agency (DTA) and Skycam as ‘both interesting and extremely satisfying. We see the relationship we have with DTA and Skycam as a partnership to develop and [advance] what is possible in remote sensing using small UAS.'

Powered by an electric motor, Kahu has a 2.3m wing span, weighs some 3.8kg and can stay airborne for 1.5 hours.  Kahu operates autonomously, using GPS navigation and has a range of 40km.

‘The heart of Kahu,' said Redmond, ‘is its autopilot. Quite possibly it is the most versatile autopilot available for miniature unmanned aerial systems in the world.'

The DTA originally designed both the autopilot and the airframe but in 2008 the agency gave Skycam commercial rights to sell both the autopilot and Kahu globally.

‘The future looks bright,' says a jubilant Redmond, ‘ with another potential foreign sale progressing well.  We are engaged with potential customers in Africa, South America and Thailand.

The company, founded in 1991, already is planning to increase both its staff and its premises to handle future export demands.

Skycam has shared (with the New Zealand Defence Force) rights to a block of airspace in the northern Wairarapa for test flying its UAS designs the and the company has for years worked with the Civil Aviation Authority to develop protocols and regulations for operating UAS aircraft in New Zealand's airspace.

  • Unmanned aerial systems are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and as remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs).

October 2010.


We take delivery this month of the first production Autopilots for military and commercial sale. This has been a long, involved process taking the autopilot from a lab environment and  field testing over several years in a range of airframes and operational areas.

Skycam gained the rights to commercialise the DTA UAS system in late 2008 and we are proud to have played a part, finally seeing  the system mature and into full production some 18 months later.

We attended the NZDIA Conference in Wellington exhibiting in conjunction with DTA the UAS systems. The thrust of this years conference was "industry working with defence" of which Skycam/DTA/NZDF is a prime example of a firm working relationship.