New smart drone can protect against flooding

Monday 18 May 15


Peter Bauer-Gottwein
DTU Environment
+4545 25 21 71


Jakob Jakobsen
Ekstern konsulent
DTU Space

The prototype for a small unmanned craft with unique properties is currently being completed.
Together with the company Sky-Watch, researchers from DTU Space and DTU Environment are developing a new smart drone that can help gather knowledge about water levels and water flows, for example, thereby creating a comprehensive overview of how we can best protect against such events as flooding.

The drone will feature a unique water level meter that provides an overview of how the water will behave if the level increases as a result of a storm, for example. In other words, it will be possible to predict how best to protect for example residential areas against sudden increases in water levels.

The meter can also be used to monitor streams, lakes, and coastal waters, and it will be possible, for example, to send it out to collect water samples in otherwise inaccessible areas.

A very precise and sophisticated craft
The new drone will have a far greater range than existing types. This means that it can stay in the air longer and travel further. Equipped with a special GPS, the drone will be able to manoeuvre with pinpoint accuracy, which has previously been impossible with ordinary drones. The combination of a fixed wing—as in a regular aircraft—and four mini-rotors enable long-distance flight flexibly and accurately, and the drone can also land and take off again autonomously, making environmental monitoring and collection of geodata simpler and far cheaper than before..

As things stand, the new smart drone will take to the air for the first time in 1-2 months, says Associate Professor Peter Bauer-Gottwein from DTU Environment. His department will present the project and the small drone’s potential capabilities at the Water DTU Partner Seminar on Monday, 18 May together with Researcher Jakob Jakobsen and Senior Researcher/Associate Professor Ole Baltazar Andersen
from DTU Space, and Assistant Professor Monica Garcia from DTU Environment, which is also involved in the project.

Water DTU

When it comes to ensuring clean drinking water, preventing flooding, managing waste water, and developing new wastewater treatment plants, we face major challenges. These challenges are the daily remit of a large body of researchers at DTU who have now come together under the auspices of Water DTU.

  • Water DTU’s objective is to increase the quality and the dissemination of research and education within the field of water and to be a strong partner for external stakeholders and companies.
  • Water DTU was formed in spring 2014.
  • Currently, 12 departments, DTU Diplom, and the Office for Innovation and Sector Development are involved.

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Water DTU Partner Seminar, 18 and 19 May:

 On Monday 18 May there will be a half-day seminar from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. when leading industrial players among others will talk about the innovation needs of the industry and their views on the possibilities for collaboration with the research community.

 On Tuesday 19 May, there will be workshops from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on such topics as ‘Satelites and drones for hydraulic and environmental monitoring’, ‘Water in smart liveable cities’, and ‘Innovating the wastewater treatment plant of the future’ where new ideas and opportunities for collaboration will be discussed.

Read more at:

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