ATM Modernization, Unmanned

SESAR Trials to Demonstrate Safe RPAS Integration Into Conventional Traffic

By Woodrow Bellamy III | May 27, 2016
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Flare 2 experimental RPAS used for SESAR trials. Photo: SESAR JU
Flare 2 experimental RPAS used for SESAR trials. Photo: SESAR JU

[Avionics Magazine 05-27-2016]  Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Air Traffic Management (ATM) Integration Demonstration (RAID) is conducting a flight trial campaign to evaluate the impact of drone integration into unrestricted airspace. RAID is one of several demonstration project co-funded by the SESAR Joint Undertaking aimed at the safe integration of civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). Led by CIRA, the Italian aerospace research center, the project aims to demonstrate and evaluate the impact of integrating drones into unrestricted airspace within current ATM environments. 

The trials follow a successful series of Real-Time Simulations (RTS), which have received positive feedback from stakeholders. 
The project is specifically looking at the short-term implications of such activities through real-time simulations and flight tests. The RTS were conducted in March 2015 using CIRA’s RPAS ground simulation facility and ATC simulators owned by Malta Air Traffic Services (MATS) and the University of Malta, using licensed air traffic controllers, as well as RPAS and pseudo pilots. The results of RTS phase were presented in the first workshop held at the Italian Military Air Force headquarters on Dec. 10, 2015.
The project also recently launched a flight trial campaign using the CIRA experimental vehicle FLARE, an optionally piloted vehicle developed by CIRA on a Tecnam P92 Echos-S vehicle. Both manned and unmanned aircraft are also involved in the trials. During the trials, a number of evaluations are being carried out by the team, notably regarding human safety and security factors in different operating scenarios. Specifically, the trials are evaluating:
  • Fully automated and augmented autopilot modes;
  • Traffic separation managed by air traffic controllers dealing with manned and unmanned intruders;
  • Emergency conditions management during jamming/spoofing of the command and control Link;
  • Cooperative traffic separation between remote pilot and controllers using an airborne Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B)-based Detect and Avoid (DAA) decision support system.
The results of the trials campaign will be presented to the public audience and stakeholders next month in the project closing workshop.

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