The Karl Popper Doktorats- und Wissenschaftskolleg for Networked Autonomous Aerial Vehicles concludes with a demonstration in south Klagenfurt.

Michał Barciś, Petra Maždin, Agata Barciś, Roland Jung (in front, f.l.t.r.) and Bernhard Rinner, Stephan Weiss, Hermann Hellwagner (at the back, f.l.t.r.)

Pasquale Grippa recently completed his doctorate in technical sciences. He spoke to us about his research focus — improving autonomous transport systems with the help of artificial intelligence. Pasquale has developed an algorithm for e.g. optimising drone-based delivery systems to answer questions such as: Which customers does the drone have to serve? Where does the drone need to pick up the package and where can it charge its battery? He also told us why he moved from Italy to Klagenfurt, how his view of the world has changed through his studies and why everyone should study at the University of Klagenfurt.

(Photo by D. Waschnig)

Commercial drones usually come equipped with modest on-board computing power. Consequently, their speed and agility are somewhat limited when they use their cameras like eyes to navigate in space. Samira Hayat, a researcher at the Department of Information Technology, recently joined forces with colleagues from other departments and Deutsche Telekom to investigate the effects of offloading computation to the edge of the network (edge computing).

“I believe that mobile operators will integrate drones into their existing infrastructure during the next five to ten years, before we can talk about the need/feasibility of a dedicated infrastructure.”

It might soon become common for drones to transport goods and people, monitor disaster zones, and bring various forms of relief to areas that are difficult to access. Which communication infrastructure is best suited to facilitate this? Researchers at the University of Klagenfurt have explored potential challenges associated with the use of traditional cellular networks.

(THANANIT/Fotolia.com)

This statement was the title of a TIME article, which was included in the magazine’s special report on “The Drone Age”. We asked Christian Bettstetter to tell us what today’s drones can do and what drone (swarms) are not yet capable of. One thing is certain: Our airspace is going to be much busier in the future.

Wherever several clocks tick simultaneously, it is tricky to get them all to display precisely the same time. This can be a challenge for drone swarms that are airborne together. To tackle this problem, young scientist Agata Gniewek is developing new technologies.

What has travelled by road to reach us until now could be delivered by drones in the future. This has many advantages: Poor rural transport infrastructure or persistent congestion in large cities can be bypassed. In 2013, Amazon was among the first to announce the intention to deliver goods using small autonomous drones. But when might this technology truly become part of our daily lives? Drone researcher Pasquale Grippa provides some answers.

Photo: Adobe Stock

The deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman, bear a remarkable similarity to the surface of Mars in terms of structural composition. The Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF) has therefore chosen Oman as the location of a large-scale Analog Mars Mission scheduled for February 2018 in order to conduct field studies. 16 experiment teams will participate in this event, including the research group for autonomous drone navigation led by Stephan Weiss.

Stephan Weiss (photo: Martin Steinthaler)

Omair Sarwar works to ensure that image data captured by drones do not pose a risk to our privacy. Over the past three years, he has conducted his research at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (AAU) and Queen Mary University of London. He aims to conclude his doctoral thesis early next year.

Romy Müller

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