The technological advancements in cheap and miniature computational processors, sensors and actuators in the past decade have significantly boosted the world drone market. As a consequence, there have also been exponential growth in drone technologies and applications, especially in civil sectors, such as safety &security, agriculture, logistic and inspection & maintenance.

Research question

Which drone technologies, flight operation requirements (technical specifications, human experts, authorization) and procedures are required to be able to carry out a quick, cost effective and high performance safety and security related operation 24/7 using a robust, reliable, safe, autonomous and BVLOS operable drone that complies with the new EU drone regulation?

Background information

Drones are extremely appealing mainly due to their low costs, safety and efficiency. According to, the global drone market for civilian applications is expected to be in excess of 100 bn annually. As a result, there is a fast-growing market. According to the EU, this will create more than 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years with an annual economic impact of more than € 10 billion in Europe alone . Ample business opportunities exist for drone technology developers as well as drone related service providers.

In the past five years, there have also been a number of SME’s (around 240) in the Netherlands whose business cases focused on drone technology development and providing domain specific services. The aforementioned application domains are identified by the government as promising application domains with national and international market potential. In particular, the safety and security application (eg. emergency response) is the single most promising one due to its significant societal impact and urgency. The urgency is closely related to the societal demand for safe and secure society in face of the ever increasing number of crime and manmade/natural disasters.

Project approach

The research group of mechatronics has been spearheading the development of various innovative and applicable technologies in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones. Under its prominent unmanned robotics systems research line, it has been conducting various applied researches in drone technologies and applications with public and private partners. 

Project goal

The main theme of the BEAST project is part of the unmanned robotic systems research line and its roadmap. The BEAST project will address the synergetic combination the legal and technological aspects. It is also partly a continuation of the Next Level and the EFRO projects, which aims at delivering knowledge and prototype with a higher TRL in conformity with the new rules that will directly be assimilated by the SMEs to develop innovative product and services.

Research outcome

The project will result in practical knowledge in drone technologies and operational procedures in compliance with the new EU drone regulation. The applicability of the developed/acquired knowledge will be practically demonstrated in safety and security applications that involves the first and best EU approved, thereby NL approved, BVLOS flight operations with short as well as long-term autonomy. Moreover, this project will also make a demonstrable contribution to the renewal of higher professional education.

Duration project

Start project: 01-02-2020 - End project: 31-01-2022




Hogeschool in Enschede, Deventer en Apeldoorn

Universiteit Twente

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Space 53

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Brandweer Twente



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Acecore Technologies

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Regieorgaan SIA

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More information about the project?

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Mark Reiling

Researcher and Project Lead

+31 88 019 3519