Hans Christian Andersen Airport, the Danish Geodata Agency and engineering consultancy firm COWI have signed an agreement to build a special photogrammetric test facility at UAS Test Center Denmark, the national UAS test center located within the airport.
The Danish Geodata Agency’s interest in the increasing use of civil drones for mapping purposes has led the agency to become an.active partner in the project: “The drone in itself is not so interesting – but rather the data it can collect. With the photogrammetric test facility in UAS Test Center Denmark, it will now be possible – as one of the only places in Europe – to ensure and test the quality of the data collected by drones used for mapping of an area,” said special consultant Niels Henrik Broge from the Danish Geodata Agency.
For Denmark to be in a leading position within the UAS business, it is vital to set up a dedicated test environment where it is possible to experiment with drone technologies. The photogrammetric test facility is a step in that direction.
It is expected that the test facility will also be of interest to international firms and other users. According to Jesper Falk, Head of Sector for land surveying at COWI, the test facility holds great potential:
“With more than double the tasks from 2013 to 2014 and increasing demand for better sensors and professional map products, COWI is looking forward to get tested and approved the various products in a controlled test environment as the one UAS Test Center Denmark is building.”
UAS Test Center Denmark is expecting that the new test facility will be ready for use in spring 2015. “We are well underway with the development of the photogrammetric test facility. The facility is a single step in the development of the national test center, which should ultimately be one of Europe’s leading facilities for the industry. The aim is to attract both Danish and foreign companies, “says UAS Test Center Denmark project manager, Michael Larsen.
Good test facilities can provide Danish companies and research institutions with a boost in an industry where the European Commission has estimated that by 2050 there will be over 150,000 European jobs. A Danish interdepartmental working group plans to publish a long-awaited report on the use of drones in Denmark, and a national survey indicates a potential of 750 new UAS-related jobs in Denmark in 2017.
UAS Test Center Denmark is also highlighted in the 100-page report on drones published in the summer by the Danish Board of Technology, which indicates a need for both a national strategy and support for the test center’s continued development.
UAS Test Center Denmark has provided the primary funding for the test facility, while the Danish Geodata Agency and COWI have also co-financed the project. Furthermore, the national union Geoforum has become involved with the project in order to create a stronger link between the members of the union and the new test facility.
The parties are now in the process of carrying out detailed planning of the test facility, and after this stage has been completed the draft plans will be shared for consultation within the industry, so that specialists and future users can give their input on how the facility should be best designed to accommodate their needs. The test facility is expected to be ready for opening on the 1st of March 2015.