Sapere: Drone and satellite-based geoinformation services for Smart Cities

Sapere: Drone and satellite-based geoinformation services for Smart Cities

Design and development of satellite / drone-based geoinformation services for land and infrastructure planning and monitoring, to support Municipalities in territorial and urban planning.

The SAPERE project aims to define and develop innovative solutions based on the exploitation of images captured by satellites and unmanned aircrafts’ airborne sensors (drones, UAVs) to provide information on land and infrastructures to support the management of the municipality’s competence plans.

Such solutions will support both public administrations and professionals cooperating throughout the planning process from the editing to the verification of their implementation. The project aims at facilitating and enriching the process of creation of the town planning project of the municipality, from the editing of the cognitive framework of the Programmatic Preliminary Document to the following adoption of the plan (PUG) and its activation (through the PUE). A new optimized, fast and low-budget editing process will be defined thanks to the enhancement of technological innovation.

Specific software applications will be designed to enable professionals (engineers, geologists, planners, etc.) to the management and distribution of satellite / drone images as a source for their analysis and elaboration activities. These applications, based on Rheticus (, will also support the development of cartographic documentation for the Municipality of Bari (this project’s end user) for its land management activities.

An experimental air navigation service environment (UTM), integrated with a DTA and Leonardo laboratory for aerial simulation, will allow drone operators to design urban set missions and execute training activities. This will lead to a more precise observation of current air rules in order to obtain flight authorization for the provision of air services in safety conditions.

The project will end with a demonstration of drone-based services in an urban environment for territory inspection.

SAPERE also foresees the establishment of the Drone Living Lab, which is meant to provide the Municipality of Bari with Space-based services to support the Smart City plans.

The project team will develop 4 applications for satellite / UAV image analysis and a prototype software:

  • Monitoring the stability of infrastructures, and specifically hydrological networks;
  • Monitoring of the quality of waters and marine outfalls;
  • Monitoring of soil sealing
  • Monitoring of thermal micro-zoning
  • Prototype UTM software for the provision of services for the management of very low-level air traffic related to UAVs.

The project is also meant to make an experimental system of air navigation services available for drone operations within the “Very Low Level” (below 500ft) airspace. Such application will be installed in the DTA/Leonardo laboratory for the simulation of air operations located in Grottaglie (Italy).

Among the final outcomes, the project expects:

  • Enhancement of public administration capabilities in the management and planning of public soil,
  • Reduction of costs related to maintenance of public infrastructures,
  • Enhancement of the efficiency of urban assets (i.e. water networks, energy efficiency of public buildings, etc.),
  • Increase of citizens’ life quality in terms of exposure to risk,
  • Increase of capabilities of the regional entrepreneurial system,
  • Increase of employment opportunities for highly qualified workers (graduates, bachelors),
  • Increase of the competitiveness of the regional aerospace system on a national and European level and overall possibility to contribute to the development of the industrial and social European system.

To know more visit the project page on the DTA website