Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Unmanned vehicles to the rescue

An EU project converted military-style unmanned vehicles to general rescue use. Focusing on interoperability, the team successfully adapted existing technologies while also creating a new ground station to control many vehicles simultaneously.
Unmanned vehicles to the rescue
Unmanned air, ground and sea vehicles are widely used for military and research purposes. Although such vehicles could be adapted for civilian search and rescue (SAR) use, the market remains fragmented and unclear.

The EU-funded DARIUS (Deployable SAR integrated chain with unmanned systems) project developed the vehicles for SAR applications. The group also demonstrated the vehicles' interoperability.

Work involved extending previous research about unmanned vehicle technologies. The team also adapted the technologies for multi-agency SAR operations. Specifically, researchers designed a generic ground station to simultaneously control multiple vehicles. The ground station also provided visualisation of the vehicles' sensor data.

The consortium defined data interface standards to ensure smooth interoperability and continuous updates among individual ground control stations and the generic station. Researchers equipped the command and control chain with a consistent communication network, and existing SAR systems were adapted to the new network.

Testing scenarios included earthquake, forest fire and marine rescue, which validated the system. Apart from a working and scalable prototype, the team also delivered various additional products, each offering further SAR potential.

DARIUS' newly developed systems and technologies will ultimately mean improved SAR operations in complex missions. Aside from the safety benefit, the outcomes also mean commercial opportunity for European businesses.

Related information


Unmanned vehicles, interoperability, search and rescue, DARIUS
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