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CORDIS Express: R&D for the drones of the future

With the drone market set to boom over the next 10 years, this edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at EU-funded research endeavours furthering drone development and exploring future applications.

Civil drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are increasingly being used in the EU across a range of different sectors. Their applications are surprisingly diverse – from monitoring natural disasters to spraying crops with pinpoint accuracy – and in the future, they may be able to deliver parcels, or even pizza, to your front door! Amazon’s Prime Air, for example, aims one day to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles. No surprise then that the market for civil drones is growing. The industry is still in its infancy right now but according to some estimates, in the next 10 years, it could be worth 10 % of the aviation market — that's EUR 15 billion per year. R&D efforts will need to accelerate to keep up with this rapid market expansion. And that’s why the European Commission last year committed to streamlining R&D work, in particular the EU R&D funds managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking to ‘keep lead times for promising technologies for the insertion of RPAS into the European airspace as short as possible’. It promised that SMEs and start-ups in the sector will get industrial support to develop appropriate technologies (under Horizon 2020 and COSME programmes). There are already a range of FP7 projects in motion further developing the potential of drones and exploring new applications, as well as newly launched Horizon 2020 initiatives which are coming on stream. This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at just some of these projects, as well as related news. - TIRAMISU demonstrates new demining tools in Brussels - Autonomous Dronistics for Security (ADS: optimized services with fleets of flying robots) - Enhanced GNSS-BF-INS Solution for Un-manned Vehicle Control - Bringing unlimited autonomy to Civilian Drones : PULSE, an Intelligent Tethered Power Supply - Trending science: New ‘Arctic-proof’ drone to track the effects of climate change

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