The European Union and the South Korean government have awarded £7.2m (€8.3m) to the international ResponDrone consortium fro a natural disaster drones project.
Composed of 20 partners from 12 countries, it sets out to develop and apply a situational awareness system in emergency situations, providing critical information and communication services to first responders.
The three-year project aims to develop an integrated solution for first responders to easily enhance their situation assessment capacity and their own protection.
This will, together with other means, include the integration of a fleet of drones that can be operated by a single pilot, during multiple synchronized missions to enhance their situation assessment capacity and protection.
The project received €8m from the EU through the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and an additional €300,000 from the South Korean government.
ResponDrone project manager, Max Friedrich from the German Aerospace Center, commented: “By using the innovative ResponDrone system, emergency response teams will be able to respond more rapidly, effectively and efficiently to an emergency or disaster and therefore save more lives.
He added: “The fleet of drones will provide enhanced capabilities to support mission assessment and search and rescue operations, as well as forest fire fighting.”
Deployment of the ResponDrone system means each fleet of drones will be operated by a single pilot, instead of that each drone being operated by a single pilot.
To ensure seamless uptake and adoption by first responder organizations, ResponDrone will be fully integrated and embedded within the current processes and procedures of real emergency response agencies and teams.