Another initiative of the Aerospace Technology District will soon be launched in collaboration with Israeli companies operating in the drone sector. The project was prepared as part of a collaboration that the DTA started a year ago with the INDI-Israelian National Drone Initiative program and which first allowed an exchange of knowledge on how to carry out large experimental campaigns, such as those carried out by the DTA in the past months based in the Grottaglie Airport Test Bed, for various national and European experimentation projects, and in the Urban Drone Range of Bari and in particular the Drones Beyond 2022 initiative.
The new DRONE-TECH project (Building a commercial solution for reducing illegal waste dumping based on drones and artificial intelligence technologies) has been approved in the context of the 2022 Industrial Call – Industrial, scientific and technological cooperation agreement between Italy and Israel and will be implemented in collaboration between the DTA and the University of Bari, for Italy, and High Lander Aviation and Sightec, for Israel.
The project intends to develop innovative solutions for the monitoring of urban and peri-urban areas in order to identify accumulations of illegal waste and illegal dumping using drones for image acquisition and applications based on artificial intelligence for the automatic recognition of accumulations. The goal is to develop and fine-tune a solution and an innovative air service performed with drones capable of providing operators (service users) with information on the location and type of accumulations. Operators will therefore have an effective and efficient tool to promptly identify the areas at risk, the size of the phenomenon and to simplify and accelerate the procedures for restoring the places.
The project was prepared thanks to the collaboration between the DTA and the Municipality of Bari within the Drone Living Lab. The project includes an experimental phase which will allow to verify the operating conditions of BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) type flights in urban and peri-urban areas in a rapidly changing regulatory scenario and to develop methodologies and applications based on artificial intelligence technology for faster and more effective data management and processing. The project, therefore, presents both innovations in the aeronautical field and in the field of smart city services.
The problem of abandoned waste is significantly relevant in urban and peripheral areas and the main difficulty that the project intends to solve is the slowness and cost of identifying accumulations. Identification is currently carried out in some places through photo traps or in general through reconnaissance carried out by personnel on the ground. The use of drones will make it possible to automatically monitor large territorial areas in much shorter times and with much lower costs. The use of artificial intelligence, which exploits the data collected with special airborne sensors, will instead make it possible to identify and recognize the type of accumulations, making removal operations more effective and efficient.
The President of DTA, Giuseppe Acierno, declared: “The consolidation of our collaboration with Israeli partners helps us to stay close to the highest levels of innovation and allows us to strengthen collaborations with a country that represents world excellence in the field of drones At the same time, we are happy to have been deemed suitable for the Italian-Israeli industrial cooperation program supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
The project continues in the effort to strengthen and internationalize the knowledge and skills that the DTA is capitalizing on in the experimentation of innovative services with drones (Innovative Aerial Services) for Bari Smart City and brings the Israeli aerospace system closer, among the most advanced and dynamic in the world , to the Apulian one so as to generate new opportunities for the development of skills and new forms of entrepreneurship.