Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Become Safer




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DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post DHL Group und RWTH Aachen University launch a research project on drones and their applications.


DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post DHL Group and RWTH Aachen University have agreed to launch a joint research project investigating concrete applications of unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly called “drones.” The objective of the project is to enable such vehicles to be safely integrated into civil airspace.

According to a joint press release of the partnering institutions, the project will investigate whether and how Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network can be used to connect unmanned aircraft systems, UAS for short, to the mobile internet. In the future, the mobile network may be used to monitor unmanned aircraft beyond the remote pilot's line of sight.

Furthermore, a prototype for a UAS traffic management system is to be developed to make the operation of UAS in uncontrolled airspace safer and to allow flights over larger distances.

Finally, as a promising application, the delivery of parcels by unmanned aerial vehicles in urban areas will be further investigated, as it provides opportunities for new logistics services. The project seeks to demonstrate that such a new overall system can be developed and operated economically.

According to the press release, as part of the research project, which is scheduled to begin in 2017, several different applications of UAS will be examined, including their use in fire-fighting and agriculture. The researchers will investigate, for example, whether drones can be sent to fires to provide aerial photos even before fire-fighters arrive on location.

As with recent past research projects, the Institute of Flight System Dynamics at RWTH Aachen University will contribute to the research activities.

"Planet Wissen" TV Show on the Topic of Drones

Drones and their uses are featured in a recent instalment of the "Planet Wissen" TV science show available online at the Planet Wissen (de) website. The show also features an interview with Professor Dieter Moormann, director of the Institute of Flight System Dynamics at RWTH Aachen.