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WT1: Drones for addressing societal challenges.

There is a very high potential for use of drone data within a variety of societal fields, however, currently there is a knowledge gap between technology developers and stakeholders. The project aims at bridging this gap by creating an arena for knowledge sharing and to identify needs and means for technology to address the societal challenges. Communication and information exchange is a key tool in this process. The project will stimulate this exchange across several sectors, and will also focus on a set of demonstration projects, initially four, that will act as models for future expansion:

 

Agriculture: based on ongoing collaboration with SLU the project will focus on the societal need to make agriculture more efficient and sustainable (precision agriculture). A first focus is on technological development on the use of autonomous drone systems for optimised use of pesticides and fertilizers.

- Forestry: we will focus on the use of drones for identifying forest damage and needs for management interventions. Thus, the methods should enable rapid and automatic identification of damaged trees, but also of areas of protection, e.g. wetlands, rare tree species etc.

- Archaeology: we will focus on the study of drones for cost-efficient and automatic detection and recording of new archaeological sites. The result of such work will provide important indications on which areas need to be preserved from extent urban development.

- Town planning and management: the project will explore rational use of this new technology for 3D-mapping and surveying of urban areas.

The long-term aspects will include systems that provide a large degree of autonomy, not only in flying but also in the identification of the problem, the required action, and carrying out possible counteractive measurements.

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