metal tower sticking up out of the ocean with a small boat and people in front of the tower


Australia’s tropical marine technology test range

ReefWorks tropical marine technology test range offers a national capability to safely test marine technologies, uncrewed systems, and new sensors in a real-world environment.

Based at AIMS headquarters, near Townsville, on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, the secure test and evaluation facility is open to industry, government, and academic innovators.


an autonomous vehicle is launched by men in a small boat
Australian droid and robot's grey ghost ASV is launched for the 2022 Autonomous warrior Naval Exercise at ReefWorks Image: J. Hurford

While 42 percent of the world’s oceans are tropical, ReefWorks is one of the first marine technology test ranges in the world located in tropical waters - a challenging operating environment for marine technologies.

We offer development, design, and testing services for uncrewed and autonomous aerial, surface, and underwater systems as well as other innovations or sensors.

ReefWorks is an AIMS initiative supported by the Queensland Government.


We provide cost-effective and safe test environments in secure, remote locations.

ReefWorks facilities include:

  • three sea test ranges with differing conditions and autonomous corridors
  • test tanks
  • workshops
  • wharf facilities

Learn more about ReefWorks services

Catalysing technology for tropical marine ecosystems

Marine ecosystems are under increasing pressure from the impacts of climate change and other challenges.

AIMS is exploring the latest technology to better understand the changing tropical marine environment.

We’re trialling next-generation sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous systems and cloud computing to provide more comprehensive knowledge, faster, to inform sustainable management.

We also seek to reduce human risk and release our world-leading marine scientists from routine tasks, allowing more time for highly skilled work.

ReefWorks brings a new capability to Australia, providing expertise and facilities to conduct routine test and evaluation of marine technologies in Australia, especially autonomous systems in a tropical marine environment.

This capability is essential for the certification and commissioning of these systems into operational service.


Unique group's uni-pact ASV is put through its paces at the TAS Maritime Showcase at ReefWorks Image: J. Hurford

At ReefWorks, AIMS and other Australian innovators can develop and mature their marine robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (RAS-AI) systems in a safe and secure environment. In turn, this provides AIMS with an opportunity to work with and learn from Australia’s leading innovators.

ReefWorks is positioned to catalyse Australia’s innovation in marine RAS-AI by offering testing at different levels of technology readiness – from proof-of-concept to operations. It also enables innovators to verify technologies as fit-for-purpose, safe to operate and environmentally compliant.


The Unique Group Uni-Pact ASV can also be controlled remotely. Image: J. Hurford

The unique challenges of tropical waters

A person in a hard hat stands on a small yellow boat looking at a twin hull, grey vessel that has no people on board

Our services

ReefWorks supports the full development cycle from simulation validation and bench testing through to near and offshore field testing.

yellow and black untethered robot glides over hard coral underwater

Learn more

Our Reefworks brochure contains more information about the dedicated services of Australia's tropical marine technology testing range.