Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are making their way from toy drones further into professional applications. The advantages for fire fighting and prevention and the observation of critical infrastructure by fire and support organisations have been recognised. UAVs have reached a level of technical maturity that enables a prompt market entrance.
In Europe, however, they are not yet permitted in the civilian domain as the systems need to comply with civil aviation rules. Solutions are urgently needed as, so far, Chinese and American manufacturers dominate the market.
An important enabler for the European UAV market are low-priced development tools and software systems that can be used by SME, especially as open source. For this purpose, Software4Robots will conceive and develop modular, open software architectures and tools.
The project is carried out within two doctorate projects with the CITEC/University of Bielefeld. The partner Institute for Fire and Rescue Technology provides the link to civilian safety research. The partner Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California gives international access to space research. Validation and testing will be done by partner smart mechatronics GmbH.
Alongside the doctorates, master and bachelor theses are planned. In summer schools and seminar papers, students and masters courses will work out scenarios and test and evaluate the tools. Publications (mainly with JPL) will be derived from these efforts. The project increases the IDiAL Institute’s competency in open source tools and software architecture.
The results will be published as open source software (via Eclipse). This will give SME access to the fast growing market for complex UAV software, and enable the competitiveness of German and European industry.