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Connected UAVs for 
Public Safety & Disaster Response

25 August, 2021, Dübendorf, Switzerland

The Connected UAVs for Public Safety & Disaster Forum promotes the positive impact of open standards and open-source in the drone industry for the public safety sector. Presented by the Dronecode Foundation and Powered by Auterion, the event connects industry leaders to showcase the latest in drone technology and innovation for public safety. 

Attendees will enjoy a 360 comprehensive overview of the open-source ecosystem, the inner workings of the projects, and standards, complete with successful use cases, and demos of products created with the open standards, maximizing their benefits to the end-user.

With more than a decade of hard work behind the scenes the open standards driving innovation and research in the industry, the open-source ecosystem is fully ready to provide an open alternative to closed source options, providing the tools necessary to develop, integrate, and control the most demanding of applications, and workflows of today and the future.

About Dronecode Foundation

The Dronecode Foundation (DF) hosts open-source and open-standard projects and their communities, forming an ecosystem of critical components to the Drone Industry. DF is a vendor-neutral foundation for open drone projects part of the Linux Foundation. We work with developers, end-users, and adopting vendors from around the world. DF provides a neutral space for collaboration in the development of open standards between engineers and organizations, members of the drone community, nurturing an open ecosystem providing open alternatives of hardware and software components key to the development of Uncrewed Vehicles.

About Auterion

Auterion provides enterprise and government with an ecosystem of software-defined drones, payloads, and third-party applications within a single, easy-to-use platform based on open-source standards. The platform gives operators greater choice, flexibility, and assurance, to improve their drone workflows, from mapping to inspection, cargo, and ISR. With 70+ employees across offices in California, Switzerland, and Germany, Auterion’s global customer base includes GE Aviation, Quantum Systems, Freefly Systems, Avy, and the U.S. Government.

Event Program

Please note that the event program is presented in English.

  • 0930 — Morning coffee & Networking
  • 1000 — Welcome, Introduction, and housekeeping (TBD)
  • 1005 — Introduction to the Dronecode Foundation (Ramón Roche)
  • 1030 — Auterion (Dr. Lorenz Meier, CEO, Auterion)
  • 1050 / 1100 — Break
  • 1100 — UAV in Public Safety (Romeo Durscher, Vice President, Auterion)
  • 1115 — armasuisse (Dr. Markus Höpflinger, armasuisse)
  • 1115 — World Food Program (Patrick McKay, Regional UAS Co-ordinator United Nations – World Food Programme)
  • 1145 — blackned (Timo Haas, CEO/Founder blackned)
  • 1200 — Introduction to Demo (Dr. Lorenz Meier)
  • 1215 — Demo
  • 1245 — Lunch
  • 1330 — Networking and “Expo Hall”
  • 1500 — End


Ramón Roche

Ramón is the Program Manager to the Dronecode Foundation, a non-profit organization under the Linux Foundation created to host open-source software and hardware projects for uncrewed vehicles (“drones”) operations, such as the PX4 Autopilot and MAVSDK. He leads a thriving community of more than 10,000 developers and commercial adopters. Ramón has been an active contributor to open-source for more than a decade, working as an individual contributor and a community leader. He’s been actively advocating for open standards and open source in the drone industry. He is host to the PX4 Developer Summit a yearly event that brings thousands of drone developers and roboticists together. This year, Ramón was awarded the Industry Impactor award by AirWards for more than nine years of service to the Drone Industry. Some of his projects include DroneKit, which was used to develop the first-ever “smart modes” in drones, that lead to the massive success of the “3DR Solo” by “3D Robotics”.

Dr. Lorenz Meier

Dr. Lorenz Meier is the Founder and CEO of Auterion and the founder of a number of important open source projects for the drone industry that include PX4, MAVLink, QGroundControl and is the creator of the Pixhawk autopilot. He is a veteran of the drone industry since 2008 with more than a decade of experience. He is the Chairman of the Dronecode Foundation. He received his Ph.D. (on drone software architecture) in 2017 from ETH Zurich. He was named Digital Shaper by Bilanz in 2018, 2019, 2021. Lorenz has received several awards and fellowships for his work, including being recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top 35 Innovators under 35 in 2017, the ETH Pioneer Fellowship in 2016, Amazon Prime Air gift/fellowship 2014, Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship in 2012, ABB Industry Award in 2011, the 1st place in the EMAV 2009 indoor competition together with his team and the ETH Excellence and Opportunity Award in 2008.

Romeo Durscher

Romeo Durscher is Vice President, Public Safety at Auterion, the premier operating systems for commercial drones. Born and raised in Switzerland, Romeo came to Auterion after 6 years at DJI, where he built the public safety vertical and has become one of the most trusted global leaders and evangelists in small Unmanned Aircraft Systems integration and deployment. As part of his work advising first responders and humanitarian organizations, collaborating with R&D teams on hardware and software solutions and expanding the drone ecosystem, Romeo has actively participated in drone missions for search and rescue operations, natural disasters, such as the Tubbs, Carr and Camp Fires in California, emergency responses & various training exercises. He has led global partnerships like with the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), which has developed protocols for public safety officials to integrate drones into their workflows.

Commercial UAV News named Romeo one of the 25 most influential people in the commercial drone industry, as well as one of the top 7 drone visionaries in emergency response & public safety. Romeo has appeared in media forums from ABC’s Good Morning America, New York Times, to Wired magazine. 

Dr. Markus Andreas

Dr. Markus Andreas (Mark) Hoepflinger holds a Master degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from ETH Zurich. After his Master in the field of space robotics, Mark Hoepflinger was employed as engineer for the Swiss locomotion subsystem breadboard for ESA’s ExoMars project. He then conducted a PhD at the Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) at ETH Zurich with the main focus on terrain perception for legged robots. From 2013 to 2015, Mark was employed at ASL as leading researcher on various national and international research projects. Since 2015, Mark Hoepflinger is leading the governmental research program ‘Unmanned Systems/Robotics’ at armasuisse Science + Technology and is currently director of the “Center for Drones and Robotics” of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS).


Patrick McKay

Patrick McKay is the UAS Data Operations manager for WFP, as well as the Regional UAS Co-ordinator for the Southern African region, where he manages WFPs first UAS hub. Patrick joined WFP in 2004 as a mobile data collection specialist before moving into IT operations management followed by UAS operations. In 2019 he was the coordinator for the first official activation of drones during cyclones Idai and Kenneth.


As part of his work in the UAS hub, Patrick is looking into innovative ways of using UAS technology to improve the way humanitarians respond and communicate in emergencies as well as for emergency preparedness activities. Patrick has participated in training activities, UAS search and rescue operations, flood modeling missions, and post-disaster mapping. He leads the UAS Connectivity Technical Working Group and is currently working on projects which aim to use UAS to provide connectivity following natural disasters.



Timo Haas

Timo Haas is CEO and founder of blackned, a high-tech software manufacturer and specialist for mission-critical communication systems, based in Bavaria, Germany. Timo holds a degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Applied Science Ulm. Prior to founding blackned, Timo has served the German Air Force for 12 years where he retired as an Officer in 2009 and continues to serve as a reservist.

Register now

Please be advised that we will be observing all COVID regulations on the day of the event and require all attendees to be registered ahead of time.

Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich

Wangenstrasse 68
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