ESA title


  • ACTIVITYKick-start Activity
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAInfrastructure & Smart Cities, Safety & Security, Energy

Objectives of the service

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Image credit: Robotto Project: EDGE-AI

In an era marked by unprecedented technological advancements, two significant pain points have arisen for those operating within the energy sector. Firstly, maintaining security and surveillance of critical infrastructure has become increasingly complex. Operators must stay vigilant against diverse threats, from natural disasters to sophisticated cyber-attacks, while ensuring the seamless functioning of essential services like energy, transportation, and telecommunications.

Secondly, in the biomass industry, accurate and sustainable monitoring is a critical challenge. As demand for sustainable energy solutions grow, operators are faced with the task of effectively monitoring biomass resources to ensure optimal use and minimal environmental impact.

Our service, a blend of AI and drone technology, is designed to address these concerns head-on. By equipping drones with advanced sensor and data processing capabilities, we provide enhanced surveillance for critical infrastructure, safeguarding against varied threats in real-time. This technology also enables precise biomass monitoring, contributing to sustainability in the energy sector.

Through our user-friendly custom Android app, we facilitate smooth communication and command execution, further ensuring the efficient management and security of essential operations. We aim to alleviate these pain points, offering a pioneering solution that enhances security, promotes sustainability, and revolutionises industry norms.

Users and their needs

In the complex and rapidly changing landscape of energy production and critical infrastructure, our primary users are companies operating in these sectors, specifically within Europe. They grapple with a critical set of needs and challenges:

  1. Effective Biomass Monitoring: Companies need to accurately estimate their biomass stockpile volumes, a vital factor in heat and electricity production. Additionally, they must manage the risk of self-ignition, which can result in significant losses.

  2. Robust Security: Enhancing site security is a top priority, yet the cost of additional security personnel can be prohibitive. Companies require cost-effective, reliable solutions to safeguard their operations.

  3. Regulatory Compliance: Users must navigate evolving European laws on autonomous robot use, which could impact the deployment and operation of our drone service.

Our service aims to meet these needs with two key applications: Autonomous Drone Surveillance for security patrols, and AI-driven Biomass Monitoring for volume estimation and risk management. Yet, we understand the concerns of internal resistance due to job security threats, and thus stakeholder engagement is a crucial part of our implementation strategy.

Addressing these challenges will not only provide value to our users but also contribute significantly towards a safer and more sustainable energy sector in Europe.

Service/ system concept

Our drone service offers our users the power of automation and precision through two primary features: Security Patrols and Biomass Monitoring.

Security Patrols enable our users to monitor their facilities with advanced technology. The drone calculates and follows a non-pre-determined route, analyzing real-time data from its sensors. Should it detect any anomalies or unauthorized personnel, it sends an immediate alert to security personnel, transforming how our users safeguard their facilities.

Biomass Monitoring, on the other hand, revolutionizes biomass management. The drone captures images of biomass stockpiles along a pre-set route. These images are processed to generate a 3D model, providing accurate volume calculations. This information is then stored online, allowing users to track and record their biomass assets efficiently.

Both features are deployed either manually or according to a pre-set schedule, offering flexibility and adaptability to our users' needs.

The core of our system is its seamless integration of hardware and software. With an advanced onboard computer, AI-driven models, and state-of-the-art sensors, the drone processes data in real-time. This interconnected architecture is the cornerstone of our service, enabling a level of efficiency, accuracy, and reliability that meets and surpasses our users' demands.

Space Added Value

Our service integrates the DJI M300 drone, which is equipped with a DJI H20T sensor and a DJI Manifold 2-G board. This setup offers high-quality RGB and thermal imaging, as well as precise distance measurements. When coupled with real-time data processing, our service transforms surveillance and biomass monitoring tasks.

In line with industry standards, we utilize the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) for precise location identification. This essential tool not only guides navigation but also geo-tags collected data. It thus helps pinpoint the exact location of any detected anomalies, facilitating quick and efficient responses.

The operational workflow of our system hinges on a continuous cycle of data collection, processing, and communication. The drone collects data in-flight, which is processed in real-time by AI algorithms to identify security threats or changes in the biomass stockpile. This processed information, coupled with any alerts, is then communicated to a ground station.

Our real-time, data-driven workflow delivers a high-quality surveillance and monitoring service, enhancing security and optimizing operations. By efficiently leveraging space assets like GNSS, our service provides superior results compared to traditional methods, augmenting the value delivered to our users.

Current Status

Image credit : Robotto, project EDGE-AI


Image credit : Robotto, project EDGE-AIImage credit : Robotto, project EDGE-AI 

The project saw significant strides with the development of a drone system, enhancing security and accuracy of biomass monitoring at Amagerværket. Employing the LEAN methodology, we ensured our solutions were user-centric, underpinned by iterative design and development. Regular testing at Amagerværket enabled performance evaluation and continuous improvement.

Our drone, employing sophisticated Convolutional Neural Networks, successfully demonstrated real-time detection of security threats or biomass pile anomalies. This AI integration, coupled with real-time alerting, sets our system apart from conventional solutions.

The operational versatility of the drone allows for both autonomous and manual control, addressing a wide range of scenarios and user preferences. We're now focusing on refining the service, enhancing autonomous operation capabilities, and developing an efficient drone docking station, among other improvements.

Prime Contractor(s)




Status Date

Updated: 30 September 2023