On Monday, September 2, students were able to learn how drones work and how to control them at “expoMINT” in Bielefeld. The day was organised by Experimint e.V. and was aimed at school classes from the eighth to tenth year. For the students the day was a great opportunity to make contact with innovative companies and to inform themselves about possible job opportunities. The focus thereby was for the students to have fun and and to participate in small experiments.

At our stand, they could try to navigate a small drone. In addition, our colleague Michael Wolkstein explained how a drone looks from the inside and how it works.

We were very pleased about the great interest and are looking forward to having interns and trainees with us in the future!

We are part of a German consortium that is planning a drone-based method for exploring former uranium mining sites in Central Asia in partnership with authorities in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The investigation technology (gamma spectrometry) installed on a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is intended to support the remediation of radioactive contaminated sites from uranium mining in the countries mentioned with the help of mapping work from the air. In addition to Third Element Aviation, the BGR and the company IAF-Radioökologie GmbH (Radeberg) are part of the German consortium.

The recently launched research project DUB-GEM (Development of a UAV-based Gamma Spectrometry for the Exploration and Monitoring of Uranium Mining Legacies) has a duration of three years and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with approx. 1,5 million € from the program »FONA – Research for Sustainable Development«. As drone deployment becomes increasingly important for commercial applications worldwide, UAV technology is increasingly being used in humanitarian projects such as the DUB-GEM project in the exploration of radioactive contaminants.

The project aims to develop and apply a methodology that allows rapid mapping of radioactive pollution around uranium mining sites. For this purpose, a so-called gamma spectrometer is installed on a UAV. In addition to developing the measurement methodology, flight strategies and workflows will also be developed. The data collected in this way should support the planning of remediation work and also promote its effectiveness. In addition, the exploratory method can also be used to record damages after natural disasters.

Central Asia is very much threatened by natural hazards such as flooding and landslides. Due to the mountainous landscape and the risk conditions in the vicinity of radioactive contaminated sites of the former uranium mining in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, an uncontrolled entry of radioactive contaminants into transboundary rivers of the region threatens. Therefore, in the UN General Conference in 2013 and 2018, decisions at the international level on the urgent need for the international community to redevelop these sites. The European Union (EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) support the initiative. In 2016, an international fund was set up at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance the reorganization (currently totaling around € 34 million). The EBRD is currently setting up the necessary project management structures for remediation in the target countries. This will create a market in the region for the most economical exploration methods for near-surface radionuclide contamination in the next few years. With the development work in the project DUB-GEM, the foundations for a future commercial use of UAV-based gamma spectrometry should be created as a promising exploration method.

The consortium

We will provide the required UAV to accommodate the gamma spectrometers and thus expand the product portfolio in the heavy-lift sector up to 25 kg. The groundwater and soil department of BGR coordinates the project on the German side. The company IAF-Radioökologie GmbH is responsible for one of the two parallel planned development lines for UAV-based gamma spectrometry. In doing so, it will expand its radio-ecological method spectrum with an air-based exploration method. BGR is responsible for the second development line for gamma spectrometry planned in DUB-GEM.

We are currently looking for people who want to support us in areas such as
software development, project management and production.

Would you like to be a part of our team?
Then have a look at our job offers: https://3rd-element.com/jobs-2/

From 1st to 5th April we exhibited at Hannover Messe, the world’s leading industry trade fair. We were part of the STARTUP REGION OSTWESTFALENLIPPE joint stand where a total of 10 startups presented innovative approaches to artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, warehouse management and the use of drones.

We were able to present our ConVecDro and our projects to potential business partners, school classes as well as political parties. We received a lot of positive feedback from visitors and had a fantastic week in Hannover.

Thank you it’s owl and OWL Maschinenbau for this opportunity!

From 1 to 5 April, the Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industry, will take place. Over the course of five days, 6,500 exhibitors from 75 countries will present key technologies from Industry 4.0, Machine Learning, 5G and Smart Grids.

At the STARTUP REGION OSTWESTFALENLIPPE joint stand, a total of 10 startups will be presenting innovative approaches to artificial intelligence, robotics, additive manufacturing, warehouse management and the use of drones.

We will be there with our ConVecDro and show you what applications are already possible with our drone, why pilots are soon superfluous and what advantages the drone has over traditional methods.

We look forward to seeing you and to many interesting conversations!

Last Thursday on 14th February the Hinterland of Things Conference 2019 took place in Bielefeld. It is a platform that connects innovative start-ups and international mid-sized companies to create a unique Internet of Things ecosystem in the heart of Ostwestfalen-Lippe.

We were part of the exhibition area where 17 start-ups in the fields of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) presented their companies and products.
The Hinterland of Things Conference gave us the opportunity to network and to discuss our drone applications with entrepreneurs, investors, potential clients and the general public.

We had a great time at Hinterland of Things!


On 14th February the Hinterland of Things Conference 2019 takes place in Bielefeld and we will be part of the exhibition! The Hinterland of Things Conference is a platform that connects innovative start-ups and international mid-sized companies to create a unique Internet of Things ecosystem. Over 40 speakers from all over the world will share their insights on two stages, the winner of the Rocket Mittelstand Award will be announced, and numerous startups, investors and corporates will be there for you to meet. The exhibition area gives you the opportunity to discover what startups in Germany and Europe in the fields of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are working on.

Come to our stand and you can be your own drone pilot! Learn about our exciting use cases and see that drones can do much more than taking photos of your vacation spot. We will show you why drone pilots will soon be dispensable and which drone applications are already possible!

We look forward to meeting you at Hinterland of Things!

Thanks to our drone ZF is now the first company in Germany to use automated drones to transport goods on its plant premises. The drone prototype with a custom user interface and a 4G LTE solution has recently started flying spare parts such as sensors or control cards from the central warehouse to workshops. As soon as the test flights are complete and drones properly deployed, such flights will relieve vehicle traffic at the plant and save time on the up to one kilometer-long delivery routes that are often on the upper floors of buildings.

The 30 km/h hexacopter can transport up to three kilograms payload and offers around 30 to 40 minutes of electrical flight operation. It is a safe and redundant system which is of course water and dust proofed.

The automated drone flights would not be possible without the official approvals for automated drone flights from the Stuttgart Regional Administrative Authority and the German Air Traffic Control DFS. Drones, mostly equipped with cameras, could until now only be used privately or commercially for tasks such as mapping, monitoring factory fences or surveying. This is now the first case in Germany where automated drones are used to transport goods on plant premises.

We were at the official project kick-off of our landmine project in Brussels. Together with the humanitarian organization Handicap International “Humanity and Inclusion” and our other project partners, we will test the use of drones in landmine clearing in Chad in Central Africa. The country, located south of Libya, has been contaminated with mines since 1982 on an area of estimated 100 million square meters. Using drones, the dangerous zones can be overflown to confirm or disprove the suspicion of mines. This makes the landmine search not only much safer, but also much faster and more efficient.

We could not be more proud!

We came third at the Drone Pioneer Award! The award, presented in Frankfurt on 17 October as part of INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS (part of INTERGEO), Europe’s largest civili drone show, recognizes projects that are changing the market and are helping to achieve the UN’s goals of a sustainable society. We were awarded for our project landmine detection by GPR. With the help of our drones, we want to make landmine search more efficient, safer and cheaper, and to give people in developing countries their land and thus their livelihoods.

More detailed information about the project will be available shortly.