Innovations with a positive social impact
Space53 brings governments, knowledge institutions, first responders and businesses together to form a drone innovation cluster and strengthens the ecosystem by creating the preliminary conditions for the successful development and application of unmanned systems.
The activities of our drone innovation cluster result in more efficient, more effective and more sustainable solutions to issues pertaining to public safety, precision farming, freight logistics and inspection and maintenance in the (east of) the Netherlands and outside it.
Safety & Security
Like Space53, the Twente Safety Campus is located at Technology Base and, as a center with top-of-the-line training facilities for first responders from the Netherlands and abroad, it is the ideal location for lifelike simulations during which drone applications can be tested safely and operators can be trained. The value that such a simulation environment offers is evident from the development realized by Brandweer Twente, which is the first pilot region to meet the essential safety requirements for using drones in their operations.
Inspection & Maintenance
Drones can be used to conduct inspections of e.g. art installations, bridges and viaducts. Using a drone, camera footage is recorded of the object that needs to be inspected or maintained. This footage is then translated into a 3D image. With the help of artificial intelligence, areas of damage and deformation can be automatically identified and categorized. Monitoring these areas of damage and deformation over time provides insight into the technical lifespan of e.g. art installations, bridges and viaducts.
Drones are used more and more in the field of precision farming in order to make this sector more cost-effective. After all, people are no longer required to e.g. irrigate crops. To further automate this process, it is important that the drones can recharge and refill autonomously. Furthermore, it is important that the drones no longer have to be controlled directly and that autonomous landing technology is developed.
ITC, University of Twente, Hof van Twente, Robor Electronics BV, the mechanization organization Timmerman BV and three young farmers are all working together to develop new cost-effective and environmentally-friendly drone technologies for use in the field of precision farming and test them at one of Space53’s test areas in Bentelo.
Developments in the field of larger, heavier drones are gradually moving forward. These range from larger systems that can be used in the agricultural sector to spread pesticides or deliver heavy installations to full-blown cargo planes that will introduce new business concepts in the field of logistics.
PUCA, Twente Airport and the German Airport Weeze are collaborating to develop and use the world’s first cross-border corridor for unmanned cargo aircraft. The Knowledge Centre Unmanned Cargo Aircraft will serve as an international consultant regarding the design, construction and operation of unmanned cargo aircraft.