© Eurac Research/Annelie Bortolotti
The impact of extreme environmental conditions on drone flight has become a major topic in UAV science. Many of the existing applications designed for drones (e.g. precision agriculture, delivery of instruments or medical supplies) have not been fully exploited by the market so far. This is due to the lack of existing knowledge about drone flight under variable weather conditions. In the literature, there are no systematic studies that have analysed the success or failure of a drone flight, based on the variability of climatic conditions. Moreover, until now a bias in the existing tests has been the non-reproducibility of the same climatic conditions.
Primary aim of this project is to establish a testing facility for drone flight in extreme environmental conditions. These tests will be controlled and reproducible, thanks to the facility terraXcube, where the tests will be performed. Drones will fly in an artificially reproduced scenario of multiple climatic stress factors: wind, heat, rain, snow, high altitude, etc. The obtained information will be useful for the design and development of a new drone generation, more reliable and safe.
South Tyrol’s leading companies in drone development will be involved in the project from its very beginning, providing drones for testing as well as collaborating with Eurac Research for the definition of test parameters.