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Facilities and equipment

12 December 2023

SERC's researchers and students can access state-of-the-art facilities and specialised technical equipment to facilitate research projects and services. Our resources encompass in-house developed equipment, processing software, and an array of leading geospatial-related products from around the world. Learn more about our facilities and equipment.


SERC's researchers and students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and specialised technical equipment to facilitate its research projects and services. SERC resources encompass both in-house developed equipment and processing software and an array of leading geospatial related products from around the world.

UAV facilities

Kaitorete Spit UAV test range

SERC operates a 100sq km UAV test range at Kaitorete Spit in Canterbury, New Zealand. This is designated as a Restricted Area by the CAA NZ, and can exclude all other aircraft when activated. It has a maximum ceiling of 1000’.

The range is situated 30km from Christchurch, and incorporates a variety of terrain, including flat coastal plain, agricultural land, dunes, extensive sea areas and coastal cliffs.

Rule exceptions have been issued by the CAA NZ for Beyond Visual Line Of Sight operations of UAVs within this test range. Workshop facilities are situated on site, and accommodation is available nearby.

For access to this facility, external groups are encouraged to bring their research projects to the University of Canterbury, where confidential collaborative work can be carried out.

SERC is working on securing an additional 100 sq km site in the Southern Alps, with a ceiling of >7000’.

Please contact a SERC representative for details.

Sign up for notification of the SERC UAV Test Range Activation.

Drone (UAV) lab

The SERC is a member and was part of the inaugural executive committee of the UAVNZ industry association and is a founding contributor to the UC DroneLab.

The UC DroneLab develops swarming Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) for extended wireless communication networks and computer vision positioning.


  • Global navigation satellite system
  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Imaging Devices
  • Hardware Simulations
  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Precise time data logger
  • Aerial mapping package

SERC has access to, and makes use of, a range of vehicles and test platforms for both the provision of commercial services and the successful completion of internal and external research and development activities.

Easy access to this growing range of platforms not only offers SERC a great degree of flexibility in terms of the research activities that can be completed in house, but also allows the team to offer a range of domain specific commercial products and services.

  • UAV
  • Fixed wing aircraft
  • Helicopters
  • Other vehicles
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