ADAC starts live testing of helicopter/drone interoperability

ADAC starts live testing of helicopter/drone interoperability

19-Oct-2021 Source: ADAC Luftrettung

Successful in science and development: The non-profit ADAC Luftrettung and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have jointly researched how helicopters, drones and autonomous vehicles can be networked in order to further improve emergency medical care from the air. In a live demonstration at the Hamburg Cruise Center Steinwerder on October 13, 2021, the two organizations will show an international specialist audience for the first time how the Air2X project works in practice. When the project was presented at the ITS World Congress, the crew of an ADAC rescue helicopter first got a drone to clear the airspace for the rescue flight. The crew then brakes an autonomous vehicle – also from the flying helicopter – to secure the required landing site from traffic, for example. As associated partners, ADAC Luftrettung gGmbH and DLR have been investigating interactions between ground-level air and road traffic as part of Air2X since 2019. The focus is on the question of how rescue helicopters can get to traffic accidents faster and more safely. For direct communication between helicopters, drones and cars, the researchers developed an interface based on the ITS-G5 radio standard used by networked vehicles. The idea behind it: the helicopter can contact aircraft and vehicles that have suitable receivers or corresponding on-board electronics. Air2X bridges the gap with the technology of autonomous vehicles, which can exchange safety-relevant information, warn occupants of dangers and prevent accidents. The second focus is communication with drones, which are a major safety risk for rescue helicopters that are flying, taking off and landing. Before and during the entire mission, the helicopter sends the information that drones should clear the airspace and land in a controlled manner. If they have an appropriate recipient, they will be instructed to land immediately.

“The cooperation with DLR enables us to combine science and practice, which is unique in Germany. With Air2X we underline our claim and statutory mandate to further develop the rescue service from the air with future-oriented innovations and to make it even better and safer. We are very grateful that the City of Hamburg gave us the opportunity to present the research project to the public, ”said Frédéric Bruder, Managing Director of ADAC Air Rescue.

ADAC Luftrettung had already successfully carried out the first practical tests in August 2021 on a test site at the Bonn-Hangelar airfield. The conclusion: Thanks to Air2X, the flying yellow angels will be able to travel safer and faster in traffic accidents in the future in order to provide emergency medical care to the injured. Support from air traffic control or helpers on the ground is not necessary when using Air2X. A compact transmitter built by NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH is placed in the helicopter cockpit to send Air2X information. Consider IT GmbH undertook the necessary software adjustments. Before the
technology can be used in everyday life, further tests and series development with partners from industry are necessary.

The ITS World Congress is the world’s largest and most important event on the subject of smart mobility and the digitization of traffic. This year it will take place from October 11 to
15 in Hamburg in the renovated Congress Center (CCH), in the exhibition halls and on selected streets.

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