Denmark is to invest DKK64m ($9.6m) in research into potential applications of drones, including their application for inspection of offshore wind turbines.

Drone researchers from five of the country's universities will collaborate on the UAS-ability project.

University of Southern Denmark (SDU) is leading the project. The University of Aalborg, the University of Aarhus, The Technical University of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen are the other participants.

In the national drone strategy, the Ministry for Education and Research has allocated DKK30m ($4.5m) from the research infrastructure funds for a national drone research infrastructure. 

The universities will provide DKK34m ($5.1m) for the research.

SDU said drones have immense potential in strengthening the nation’s productivity and could become the basis for growth.

The research infrastructure will be available for researchers all over Denmark and can strengthen the ability in transforming knowledge about drones into value for Danish companies.

With this budget allocation, universities in the country will now be able to purchase required equipment and components which will be used in building and development of drones.

One of the first investments that the DSU will be making, is on 3-Dimensional Radar. This tool will help drones to self-register and avoid obstacles like hitting other drones. As the component was expensive, the university could not afford in the past.

Aalbord University noted that it will buy a large van which will act as a command centre on wheels and monitor drones that are airborne. The university will also purchase a helicopter test drone with which new sensors can be used for detecting other aircrafts.

The allocated budget will be used for integrating national research efforts in the field of drones. Under the project, two new drone laboratories will be set up in collaboration with HCA Airport in Odense.

The new laboratories will include simulators to test drones in different environments including the inspection of offshore wind turbines.

By working at the HCA Airport, university researchers can collaborate with companies such as Boeing which are already experimenting with their drones.

Image: University of Southern Denmark allocates DKK 64m to be invested on drone technology and development. Photo: Courtesy of University of Southern Denmark.