Sustainability, airspace optimisation and urban air mobility – focus of latest very large-scale demonstrations

Feb. 23, 2021

The SESAR Joint Undertaking has in place a new portfolio of very large-scale demonstrations aimed at making aviation smarter and more sustainable, and paving the way for urban air mobility (UAM) in Europe.

The demonstrations were selected following the publication of two calls in 2020 (VLD2, WAVE3) amounting to 35 million in co-funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 budget. Over the course of the next two years, the selected demonstrations will showcase the readiness of a range of SESAR solutions for implementation and their ability to boost the performance of aviation in several critical areas, including traffic predictability, airspace optimisation, and environmental sustainability. A sizeable portion of the demonstrations will specifically address the safe and secure integration of drones, building on the outcomes of previous SESAR U-space research.

The focus of the demonstrations are very much in line with the European Commission’s European Green Deal, Digital Europe and the recently launched strategy on smart and sustainable mobility. These latest projects also support specific measures outlined in the Airspace Architecture Study Transition Plan, such as the launch of an airspace re-configuration programme and the move to cross-border free route, and air-ground and ground-ground connectivity.

Get an overview of new projects in 2020/2021 :

 

ITARO - Integrated TMA, airport & runway operations
(Wave 3 - PJ.37 W3)

The project plans to demonstrate on a larger scale several solutions in the airport environment, which research has shown can bring efficiencies, both operational and environmentally. These include procedures to enable more efficient and integrated runway throughput and terminal operations; a collaborative framework for managing delay constraints on arrivals; and improved arrival and departure operations.
 

ADSCENSIO ADS-C enables and supports improved ATM operations
(Wave 3 - PJ.38)

Building on the results of DIGITS, this project aims to demonstrate the efficiency and robustness of a technological infrastructure to support datalink communications between the aircraft and various ground consumers for real-time transmission of four-dimensional trajectory data. The aim is to support the industrial implementation of the use of automatic dependent surveillance-contract extended projected profile (ADS-C–EPP) data downlinked from aircraft – the target is for 45% of all flights in Europe to have the capacity to share trajectory.
 

ALBATROSS -The most energy efficient flying bird (VLD02)

ALBATROSS aims to support the transition towards greener and more sustainable aviation. Taking holistic approach, the project will address all flight phases and demonstrate the complementary between airborne and ground solutions, such as alternative aircraft fuel, technologies for better air-ground connectivity, artificial intelligence and big data, and highly collaborative ATM procedures.
 

VOICE - Reduced separations and improved efficiency based on Vhf cOmmunICations over LEO satEllites (VLD02)

The project will demonstrate the benefits of using satellite-based VHF systems for voice and datalink air traffic services in remote portions of airspace, especially in reducing separation without compromising on safety. Project partners will perform cross-border operations to illustrate the feasibility of using these technologies across national borders.
 

AMU-LED - Air mobility urban large experimental demonstrations VLD02)

The project will demonstrate how U-space services and solutions could support integrated urban air mobility (UAM) flight operations, allowing eVTOLs/UAS and other airspace users (unmanned and manned) to operate safely, securely, sustainably and efficiently in a controlled and fully integrated airspace, without undue impact on operations currently managed by ATM.
 

CORUS-XUAM – Concept of operations for European U-space service – extension for urban air mobility (VLD02)

The project aims to develop a detailed concept of operations and define urban air missions, followed by simulations and a large-scale real flight demonstration campaign to verify and validate the concepts. The project will allow UAM stakeholders to specify various use cases applicable to logistics and urban transport of passengers, to design or integrate UAM environment, to test the UAS ground and airborne platforms and finally, to assess safety, security, sustainability and public acceptance. The project is proposed by the consortium that delivered the CORUS U-space Concept of Operations (ConOps) in 2019, extended by the addition of UAM expertise. The activities will start with the update of the U-space ConOps, addressing the integration of UAM/UAS operations into the airspace, also identifying new U3/U4 services. The project activities will continue with the preparation and execution of six challenging VLD campaigns in six different European locations.
 

GOF 2.0 - Integrated urban airspace very large-scale demonstration (VLD02)

The project will demonstrate operational validity of serving combined UAS, eVTOL and manned operations in a unified, dense urban airspace using current ATM and U-space services and systems. Both ATM and U-space communities depend extensively on the provision of timely, relevant, accurate and quality-assured digital information to collaborate and make informed decisions. 
 

SAFIR-MED – Safe and flexible integration in advanced U-space and flexible services focusing on medical air mobility

(VLD02)

The project will combine five unmanned UAV platforms (passenger eVTOL, hydrogen fuel cell VTOL, AED medical drone, X8 medical transport) with manned aviation in real-life demonstrations validating technology and the maximum number of U-space services in real urban environment. The results are expected to help refine the current U-space architecture principles and create measurable indicators for the inclusion on UAM smart city transport roadmaps, supporting standardisation and safety.
 

TINDAIR - Tactical instrumental deconfliction and in flight resolution

(VLD02)

The project aims to demonstrate and refine the safety, performance, standardisation and regulatory requirements to enable UAM with specific focus on U-space U3 services identified in the U-space Blueprint and refined by CORUS, and, unlock new and enhanced applications and mission types in high density and high complexity areas.

 

Uspace4UAM - U-space for UAM

(VLD02)

The project will carry out a series of d multi-national demonstrations, both with drones and UAM, covering different use cases, including mixed operations, to derive critical enablers for a wide set of UAM service applications that can be applied all over Europe.

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