First alpine drone conference at FH Kufstein Tirol
Mobility from above
The innovation process for drones is on a successful path while public acceptance and regulatory framework conditions – similar to the perception of autonomous mobility – are only beginning to change. A familiar image for FH Kufstein Tirol who has already intensively dealt with social and technical requirements within the context of the research topics of digitization and autonomous mobility. The added value of drone usage is obvious since the practice offers a varied application range for the alpine Kufstein region. Agriculture and local public transport should also benefit since new mobility forms will make traffic more environmentally friendly and user-oriented.
Drones can also provide security as e.g. for transporting hazardous materials or as first responders in emergency situations. While the idea of using drones for landscape imaging has been derided until now, many people are obviously not aware of the role that drones can play in protecting and saving lives. “Especially deployments involving hazardous substances present a challenge to emergency personnel. Drones can be used by operational management to determine the situation on-site beforehand – without having to deploy and thereby endanger personnel in the hazard area,” said Brigadier Andreas Oblasser of the District Fire Department Association Kufstein.
University of Applied Sciences Kufstein as impulse provider and control center
“As a university, we are participating in the establishment of a mobile drone detection system and look forward to exchanging knowledge and technology with technical experts at the conference. We especially see drone usage as an important concept in the alpine region and appreciate the contribution to sustainability and increased security,” said Prof. (FH) Dr. Mario Döller, rector at FH Kufstein Tirol. Research institutions that currently perform basic research for the technologies of tomorrow are required in order to move beyond the niche market – including social and legal integration.
A research group of three doctoral candidates is currently dealing with multiple research projects. For implementation purposes, the test area of the polytechnic offers sufficient space for drone flights and a detection system. “The greater the degree of automation of the mobility application, the more important the environmental data such as GEO protection zones, local weather as well as navigation and communication availability for safe operation. This environmental data is recorded by a digital and regional infrastructure and provided to all modes of transportation (road, air, rail and water) with the required accuracy in order to make the mobility of the future available in an economic and safe manner,” explained Prof. Christian Arbinger of Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) GfR mbH.
Alpine drone conference with technical experts
Keynote presentations were given on both days on various topical focal points within the context of the conference, led by technical experts from the sector with representative speakers from, among others, DLR GfR mbH, Airbus Defense and Space GmbH as well as AIR&MORE OG from the aerospace sector. ÖAMTC, the Bavarian Red Cross, the District Fire Department Kufstein, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defense and the Austrian security firm security GmbH & Co KG (ÖWD) will increasingly address legal framework conditions and safety aspects. Moreover, experts of the software development firms Skytala and ADP Rinner ZT GmbH provide insights into what they have learned. In addition to FH Kufstein Tirol, Graz University of Technology, FH JOANNEUM Graz and the University of Klagenfurt are dispatching their researchers.
The first day offers a prelude focused on technology and application with a presentation of the KuKi mobility corridor Kufstein-Kiefersfelden including additional insights into current research results. “As a city, we are delighted to participate in this significant project and are excited about organizing the conference. We look forward to the two-day exchange with all involved parties from the sector,” emphasized Mag. Martin Krumschnabel, mayor of the city of Kufstein.
On the second conference day, the legal framework conditions and transborder questions, technology and applications for official security organizations as well as security and drone detection systems will be on the agenda. Experts from aerospace and the security sector are among the presenters. “With respect to airspace, safety should be the top priority for drone usage so that risky situations can be avoided – which our aviation emergency services have unfortunately already encountered. For this purpose, we developed the drone info app and offer aviation training for responsible drone pilots,” explained Benjamin Hetzendorfer, product manager for drones at ÖAMTC.
The drone conference is held in cooperation with the innovation platform Kufstein i.ku, the District Fire Department Association Kufstein, Location Marketing Kufstein and the Tourism Association Kufsteinerland. The innovation platform Kufstein i.ku is supported by the province as a LEADER project, the federal government and the European Union. We are grateful to the sponsors for their support, namely the Location Agency Tirol and the involved funding programs: INTERREG Austria-Bavaria, the Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism and LEADER.