Swedish institute secures permit to test BVLOS drone flights

Swedish national safety agency, Transportstyrelsen, has issued a flight permit for beyond line of sight (BVLOS) operations to the country’s RISE Research Institute following several months’ demonstrations, enabling researchers to carry out their first BVLOS autonomous food delivery from a restaurant on the outskirts of Linköping to the city’s University. RISE Research set out to test the technical solution, complete with new safety system, to meet the permit requirements of Transportstyrelsen for beyond line of sight operations.

RISE has developed a new safety system called Drone Safety Service to be able to perform the missions, a system that could be used by many actors in the drone business and also in future research projects. Rasmus Lundqvist, researcher in Autonomous Systems at RISE and operations manager for the flights, commented: “Safety is the most crucial part in a system like this. We have performed hundreds of verifying flights during the year to ensure the reliability of the system.”

In September the institute demonstrated a connection between a drone and planning and scheduling algorithms hosted Italian company Fondazione Bruno Kessler. The demonstration was a combined software simulation and hardware demonstration: Planning and scheduling algorithms made a plan for the plant, a central executor orchestrated the simulated autonomous forking ground vehicles and the physical drone. As some simulated packages arrived on the drone dock the real drone loaded a real package and delivered according to the plans received from the algorithms. The real AGVs are demonstrated at the end customer site in Venlo, Netherlands.

The research project is promoted and supported by the EU innovation agency EIT Digital and is an activity for producing and commercialising technologies for autonomous warehouses and autonomous deliveries.

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