The fire department and also Rijkswaterstaat will certainly soon be try out an instantly working drone box system for the very first time. For example, the very early discovery of forest fires will certainly be considered. Rijkswaterstaat, along with truckparking Rotterdam, will monitor a truck car parking at Hazeldonk with the system. What is special is that drones will fly about for the very first time without the requirement to be a pilot. To make that possible, a special risk analysis had to be prepared initially.


The concept of utilizing drone boxes for assessment purposes developed two years back. After that development supervisor Aad van den Burg of Rijkswaterstaat came into call with the Noordwijk start-up Van den Burg: “During a half-hour conversation, it was clear to me that this system needed to be additional developed. Quickly after, in the week in between Christmas as well as New Year, we conducted a number of test trips at Fort 1881 in Hoek van Holland. Then there were examinations at Maasvlakte Plaza, at the Markerwadden and also at NLR in Flevoland.”

The concept of a drone-in-a-box has already been discussed on Dronewatch a number of times. The concept is that a drone is standby 24/7 in a shut box, ready to do something about it. As quickly as required, the box opens up and also the drone instantly carries out a specific objective. This might be a pre-programmed trip, or an ad-hoc flight to a specific coordinate. After that, the drone will fly back to package, to be charged there.

The number of uses a drone box is many. Think of regularly executing the very same examination trips, or security objectives. A drone box is also a service to swiftly reply to tragedies. That is why, to name a few things, the fire brigade and Rijkswaterstaat are very curious about the possibility of making use of drone boxes to support their tasks.

Special risk analysis A requirement is that there is no demand to be a pilot at the drone, otherwise the added worth is nil. As well as because he is the core: practically, a lot is feasible, yet the regulations so far did not provide for the possibility to have a drone

fly around without a vehicle driver being involved. It is a trip out of sight of the operator( BVLOS ), where the driver can be essentially and also figuratively on the various other side of the world. This is transforming thanks to a risk evaluation created particularly for this purpose. This dronebox-specific Pre-defined Risk Assessment(PDRA) is currently for authorization by the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) and also is anticipated to be released quickly. The PDRA was partially produced with the help of the skilled team drones, which includes representatives of single-interest group, the Ministry of IenW, Rijkswaterstaat and also knowledge organizations.

Functional Preconditions

The beginning factor of the drone box PDRA is that the drone always remains within a particular virtual limit (geofence), and also is limited in regards to maximum flight altitude. In principle, someone always has to see with the drone, but that can likewise be an operator that lies from another location (for example in a control space). Additionally, within the online fence, there need to be the possibility to set up a variety of no-fly areas, such as roads or structures. The user can have the drone perform all type of missions, whereby the system makes sure that the drone remains within the restrictions as well as prevents the no-fly areas.


safety and security objectives, the drone may consider a maximum of 1 kg according to this PDRA. A higher weight is feasible in the long term, but instead extreme danger mitigation measures should be taken. To first gain experience, it was selected to begin with light-weight drones.


Among the applications that will be checked out worries fire avoidance, over forest locations. This pilot job is performed by A drone will instantly take an examination flight above the location periodically, with the aim of detecting beginner fires.

Rijkswaterstaat also has a number of use situations in mind. As an example, a pilot task is in progression at a truck car park in Venlo. The drone has to inspect there once in awhile whether the trucks present are parked as well lengthy or improperly. The images that the drone takes are sent to the traffic station in real time. There will certainly be an additional drone pilot next to the box, but at an excellent time that is no longer necessary.

Another feasible application worries checking for illegal degassing by inland vessels. The idea is that drones immediately fly to passing vessels, to take recordings of the deck there. Superior shutters can show the prohibited discharge of unsafe gases. Related to this is the suggestion to promptly have drones airborne in case of an oil leakage. Both situations become part of the Drone2Go task launched by Rijkswaterstaat.”

Sky is the restriction “According to founder Niels Klink, the stating ‘the sky is the limitation’ certainly opts for automatic drone boxes. “I expect a substantial quantity of requests as soon as the drone box PDRA is approved by the ILT. An entire network of drone boxes is already being thought concerning in the Rotterdam port location. The drones could after that be released available by the police, fire brigade, the NVWA and also Rijkswaterstaat.”

As possible applications in the port location, Klink calls it assessment from the air periodically from the air of quay wall surfaces, which are often damaged by stern waves of passing seagoing vessels. One more idea is to examine whether containers have not currently begun to unload containers on going into container ships. Therefore, one can dump quicker after arrival, however as a result of safety and security, it is not enabled.

Further advancements

On a technical degree, there is still a great deal of development on the dronebox. It is examined whether it is feasible to mount a finder on the box, which can indicate coming close to helicopters so that the drone can offer priority in time. Klink: “In the long-term, U-space needs to make sure that drones as well as manned air traffic are appropriately integrated. But till the moment comes, we have to think of another thing. Paying attention to ADS-B simply and also alone is insufficient, due to the fact that not all aircraft are furnished with such a transponder.” likewise discovers the possibilities to send out information over KPN’s cordless network. On the 4G network, yet also using 5G in the near future. The idea is to focus on the data website traffic of the drone to make sure that the link is not jeopardized if there is insufficient transmission capacity offered to all users.

Social acceptance

Using drone boxes additionally raises brand-new inquiries when it pertains to social approval of drones, particularly in the field of personal privacy. A drone that immediately makes a round along an industrial park can often cause unfavorable responses from individuals on the ground. There will be applications where one can not run away to carry out a data protection effect assessment (DPIA). It could be followed, for example, that data to be traced back to persons such as shots of faces or certificate plates need to be automatically blamed.

“But when it comes to a drone that goes on an emergency situation, I do not expect a lot of troubles in that location,” states Klink. “In such a situation, individuals on the ground will understand what that drone will certainly do. Then the social passion is adequately clear, I assume.”