Discover some of the updates from the portfolio of U-space R&D and demo projects that are underway in the SESAR programme. Together these projects aim to deliver the services and technologies needed to manage drones safely and seamlessly. Featured updates include progress towards the development of ground-based systems for managing drones (TERRA), details on a geofencing flight campaign (GEOSAFE) and a recently started demo in the Gulf of Finland (GOF).
U-space: Aiming to enable complex drone operations with a high degree of automation
Drones are a growing business in Europe, delivering services in all environments, including urban areas.Mapping, infrastructure inspections, precision agriculture, delivery of goods and e-commerce are just some of the services possible using drones. A clear framework at EU level would allow the creation of a truly European market for drone services and aircraft, thereby harnessing potential for jobs and growth creation in this new sector of the economy.
U-space is a set of new services relying on a high level of digitalisation and automation of functions and specific procedures designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for large numbers of drones. As such, U-space is an enabling framework designed to facilitate any kind of routine mission, in all classes of airspace and all types of environment – even the most congested – while addressing an appropriate interface with manned aviation and air traffic control.
In support of this initiative, in 2017 the SESAR Joint Undertaking drafted the U-space blueprint, a vision of how to make U-space operationally possible. The blueprint proposes the implementation of 4 sets of services to support the EU aviation strategy and regulatory framework on drones:
- U1: U-space foundation services covering e-registration, e-identification and geofencing.
- U2: U-space initial services for drone operations management, including flight planning, flight approval, tracking, and interfacing with conventional air traffic control.
- U3: U-space advanced services supporting more complex operations in dense areas such as assistance for conflict detection and automated detect and avoid functionalities.
- U4: U-space full services, offering very high levels of automation, connectivity and digitalisation for both the drone and the U-space system.
SESAR Joint Undertaking walking tour on U-space
SESAR Joint Undertaking – CLASS project