SAFA Skysailor Magazine

30 SKY SAILOR March | April 2020 W ithout going into the mathemat- ics (very boring), I used the SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) 1 second arc Digital Terrain Model, to find: ➲ ➲ High hills = areas with more than 300m vertical within 1.5km (5:1) and closer than 80% to the top of a hill. ➲ ➲ Big hills = areas with more than 500m vertical within 1.5km (3:1) and closer than 80% to the top of a hill. There are 7000 big hills! ➲ ➲ Possible Launches = Things I saw when I was QA’ing the effects of changing parameters. Originally I was going to mask for sites that were in National Parks, airspace or other inaccessible land tenures, but in the end, I haven’t ruled out any hills because when I had a look at the NP, airspace, etc, there’s some good looking hills ruled out on automated rules that look okay on the imagery. I think the biggest achievable top to bottom that meets these rules in Australia is Mt Townsend (2180m) to Geehi (400m) i.e., vertical of 1700m at about 4:1. Shame about the NP take-off. Since sharing the data with a few people, there’s been some exploration and some flights from can- didate sites by suitably experienced pilots. Some example pictures of what the analysis in NSW/VIC looks like this: 1. Bright – Pretty much what you would expect. Site Discovery by GIS A couple of years ago, after a conversation around a campfire, I was inspired to use all of my education for a real purpose. The task: Find new flying sites around Australia by doing an analysis of the terrain to highlight potentially suitable launches. by Gareth Carter