Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), can be used within various areas, including agriculture and forestry as well as infrastructure and urban planning. At Drone Center Sweden, unmanned aerial vehicles are tested in a real-world environment.
The testbed consists of 24 square miles, with Västervik airport being the base of the testbed. The goal of the project is to establish a permanent restriction area designated to test and evaluate unmanned air crafts and other vehicles. It intends to make safe and secure tests regarding possibilities to establish systems for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) in the combined Cellular and UAV Innovation zone.
In May 2019, Drone Center Sweden hosted an event where projects in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles financed by Vinnova demonstrated their solutions in the testbed’s real-world setting. Projects included drones navigating under the tree canopy to collect data on position and quality of the trees, water sampling UAVs, as well as monitoring systems of algae and other maritime conditions in the sea.
The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is using parts of the testbed for tests of autonomous systems on land, at sea and in the air. The European agricultural project AFarCloud is testing UAVs and sensors for monitoring agriculture and husbandry as developing AI based Decision Support Tools for farming. Several producers of unmanned fixed-wing, helicopters and multi-copters (the biggest 5×5 m and payload up to 1000 kg) have been testing at the testbed.
The testbed is financed by Vinnova and coordinated by RISE SISC East. Additional partners include the municipality of Västervik, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Linköping University, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), Bombardier, Sparv Embedded and UMS Skeldar.
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