VTT provides a wide set of services and solutions to support drone (UAV) and drone systems (UAS) development. VTT has deep knowledge from most modern essential drone components, like batteries, materials, flight/fleet management and sensors. Several next generation new autonomous drone use-cases are piloted now in our projects. From drone systems UTM, U-Space and fleet management are contributed. Latest connectivity (eg. 5G) and cyber security are piloted.

Key facts about drones

Drones are low emission flexible tools for many purposes

Autonomy, flight-  and fleet management systems are coming for drones

Current drone radios will be replaced with mobile radios

Drones are also called as UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) means drone + needed control systems. VTT provides a wide set of services and solutions to support drone area research and development. 

Rapid development happening in drone technologies

Drones are an excellent tool now and as part of next generation aviation, in which rapid development is happening now in several areas.  Digitalisation, autonomy and low emission technologies are good examples of these. Current control and data transmission radios will be replaced with mobile radios, like 5G. Flight management systems (UTM, U-Space) are developed, these will safely integrate traditional aviation and unmanned drones. Fleet management will provide tools so that control center can operate fleet of drones remotely. Battery technologies develop fast, latest innovations from electric cars can be transferred to drones and extend flight times. Autonomy level increases and provides better tools for implementing new smart aerial services based on drones with lower labor need/cost. Drone swarms can effectively be used to cover wide area, and for example be used to find lost people.

Drones are useful tools in many areas

Low emission drones can be used to replace several current services. VTT has a long history of using drones in research projects for measurements and observations. New use-cases are currently developed for example in areas like smart inspections, surveillance and logistics (eg. deliver items from web stores directly to customers) etc. The motivation to use drones in these is typically lower emissions, fast delivery, improved security or new tool to collect data. Big drones, eVTOL, Urban Air Mobility kind of vehicles will be tool for even for carrying people or bigger amount of logistic items.  Even traditional ambulance helicopter could be replaced with battery operated eVTOL in future. In hazardous environments drones can be useful tool to monitor conditions.

Drones (UAV) are low emission tools for creating autonomous aerial services (UAS). Smart inspections, logistics, surveillance and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will have several new use-cases for drones. VTT is doing research and development with many essential technologies used in drones. 

VTT has a lot to offer for drone projects

VTT has been leading and coordinating several international multi-partner drone area projects. We have deep knowledge of what drones are now and how drone systems will be developing next. There are several research sub-areas from which we can also contribute to drones like robotics, autonomy, batteries, hydrogen+fuelcell, low emission systems, sensors, radar, AI, IoT, connectivity, cyber security, material technologies, data-analytics, machine vision, situational awareness, user interface, reliability models and business models. These can flexibly be utilised for different kinds of drone projects. There are also several laboratory and simulation environments which can be used. A good example of these is the “wind tunnel”, environmental chamber. We have special interest to tailor drone technologies so that these can be operated in our “arctic” climate.

VTT is well networked with Finnish, European and international key partners

VTT is a key partner in several organizations which are boosting drone technologies and business forward. Examples of these are: RAAS (Rethinking Autonomy  And Safety) innovation ecosystem and Nordic Drone. VTT has a strong network of industrial partners, which can be invited to different kind projects. We do active co-operation with all the Finnish key players in drone scene.

Heikki Rajasalo
Heikki Rajasalo

How are self-driving cars made road safe? Can smart bandages and skin patches identify and prevent disease? Should we make inventory of the Earth’s forests from space? These examples only scratch the surface when it comes to the potential benefits digitalisation brings for society and business alike.