ALBACOPTER® - Scalable concept for autonomous flying transport drones

Scalable concept for autonomous flying transport drones

Künstlerische Skizze eines VTOL(vertical take-off and landing)-Gliders
© Fraunhofer IVI
ALBACOPTER drone concept

Short description of the project

The steadily growing volume of passenger and freight traffic - especially in urban areas - is increasingly pushing the existing infrastructure to the limits of its capacity. Autonomous and connected driving is considered a promising approach to optimise traffic flow, but it raises safety-related questions due to the complexity and the multitude of different road users. In the lighthouse project ALBACOPTER®, six Fraunhofer institutes are therefore developing a scalable, flying experimental platform with the VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) capability of a multicopter and the aerodynamic advantages of a glider, which is to be approved for test and demonstration flights.

Contribution of Fraunhofer IOSB

With its competences from the departments Systems for Measurement, Control and Diagnosis (MRD) and Interoperability and Assistance Systems (IAS), Fraunhofer IOSB is involved in particular in the topics of flight monitoring, function diagnostics, trajectory planning and remote control, as well as in the creation of a Digital Twin of the ALBACOPTER® for "Front Loading" based on a modular simulation platform.

Project goals

Following successful validation of the system concept on economically viable scales, an innovation platform will be created in both the real and virtual worlds for experimental testing of the flight vehicle concept. This project would provide Fraunhofer for the first time with an experimental flying device, including a Digital Twin, which can be used not only to test a wide range of high-tech developments for Urban Air Mobility, but also to present them to the public.

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS
  • Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI

News about the lighthouse project


Further information

Project duration: 2021-2024

Funding body: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Budget: approx. 8 million euros

Fraunhofer lighthouse projects

With its lighthouse projects, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft sets strategic priorities in order to develop concrete solutions for the benefit of Germany as a business location. The topics are geared to the current needs of industry. The aim is to quickly turn original scientific ideas into marketable products.