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Drones and Autonomous Systems

Drones and Autonomous Systems

Norway's leading drone research environment

NORCE has strong competence in drone-based service development, regulations, operational concept, risk analysis and risk assessment.

NORCE's research environment on drones is mainly located in Tromsø and has a unique combination of R&D and operational expertise. We develop sensors and integrate these into platforms (our own or the customer's). We program algorithms for data analysis and have systems for real-time monitoring, data collection, data analysis, data distribution and visualization.

The group has special expertise and experience from operations in the Arctic / Antarctic. In addition, we have opportunities for combined use of drones and research aircraft, both on Svalbard and on the mainland, which enables efficient collection of research data from large areas.

Contact person
Stian Andre Solbø

Drones and Autonomous Systems Research Director Drones and Autonomous Systems - Tromsø


+47 975 86 835

Specialist expertise

  • Radar hardware
  • Hyperspectral imaging
  • AI, CV and image processing
  • Georeferencing, mosaicization and 3D models
  • Electronics and prototype building, instrumentation
  • Development of drone platforms
  • Operations, airmanship
  • Field and logistics experience

Software and instrumentation

The researchers at NORCE develop software and adapt the payload to different needs:

Sensor systems - optical

Optical cameras, from UV to IR, have for years been the primary sensor on most UAV platforms. The applications range widely, but are mainly related to research activities within environmental mapping, land surveying, resource management, etc. This technology has been used in projects for mapping sea ice and icebergs in connection with maritime operations in the far north. NORCE also develops machine learning to use drone data to detect errors and deviations in airport operations and safety management.

Sensor systems - radar

The UAV Radar system development at NORCE has primarily focused on applications related to snow and ice. A UAV-mounted ground-penetrating radar has applications ranging from climatological studies with snow and ice parameters such as snow depth, density and stratigraphy over large areas, to the detection of buried objects or people in connection with e.g. avalanche search.

NORCE is also developing RPAS technology for operation under Arctic conditions, and especially in connection with operation from a ship mapping sea ice in the Arctic. This includes problems related to weather and climate, but also challenges related to operation from the ship, communication, processing and sharing of data, as well as measuring snow and ice parameters.

NORCE has had several projects where navigation systems are involved, either as a primary focus or as part of a larger project. Precise and reliable positioning has been a long term focus of the research group.

Communication systems

NORCE has several projects that focus on improving communication, navigation and identification of UAVs. This involves both the integration of drone platforms into existing air traffic control systems, and high-bandwidth communication systems for real-time visualization of data.

We are also working on the development of a drone system for the transport of general cargo between vessels, installations and land. The project focuses on developing a method for landing on moving vessels.

NORCE has installed and tested a number of optical image sensors on the Lufttransport Dornier aircraft stationed in Longyearbyen, as part of the SIOS-InfraNor project. The aircraft is instrumented to obtain aerial photographs and hyperspectral remote sensing data in addition to the normal transport operation. NORCE also has its own research aircraft in Tromsø, which we will put into operation during 2022.

Meet the team

Stian Andre Solbø

Research Director Drones and Autonomous Systems - Tromsø

+47 975 86 835

Thomas Johansen

Senior Researcher - Tromsø
+47 56 10 78 42

Jakop Reistad

Chief Engineer - Tromsø

+47 400 16 082

Andreas Tøllefsen

Senior Engineer - Tromsø

+47 918 61 923

André Kjellstrup

Chief Engineer - Tromsø

+47 466 81 795

Agnar Sivertsen

Senior Researcher - Tromsø

+47 918 38 463

Tore Riise

Flight Operations Manager - Tromsø

+47 412 30 520

Nils Håheim-Saers

Safety and Compliance Manager - Tromsø

+47 970 74 340

Rolf-Ole Rydeng Jenssen

Researcher - Tromsø
+47 56 10 71 19

Jonas Nordhaug Myhre

Senior Scientist - Tromsø
+47 56 10 78 51

Vilde Gjærum

Researcher - Tromsø

Svein Jacobsen

Chief Scientist - Tromsø

Fabio Andrade

Researcher - Tromsø

Ronny Sandslett

Engineer Drone - Tromsø

Sigurd Løkse

Researcher - Tromsø
+47 56 10 78 59