Center of Excellence for Drone Research

Integrating drones into fire department operations

This research center aims to develop a technical framework for the detection of hazardous materials using drones. It will further address how such a framework can be implemented in an operationally safe way. As a particular use case, the center will also present concrete measures that would allow the framework to be integrated into the workflow of fire departments within the context of disaster operations, covering such aspects as alerts, deployment, and documentation.

How drones can be successfully integrated into the operations of a fire department has been successfully demonstrated in the past two years in cooperation with the firefighting association of the Kufstein district. The missions ranged from missing person searches and ember detection to snow missions in the winter of 2018/2019. The advantages of a drone are obvious. For one, it is cheaper and easier to deploy than, for instance, a helicopter would be. A drone can also be used in worse weather conditions. In addition, the use of drones is much easier to scale, particularly if future developments such as swarm technology can be successfully implemented.

Next to these existing applications, the quick detection of hazardous materials is another important disaster relief scenario for emergency response organizations where drones could be of assistance.

Project Partners



Project Manager

Prof. (FH) PD Dr. Mario Döller