The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have co-organized the third user/stakeholder workshop on Unmanned Aircraft Systems on March 8th 2012, at the ESA Redu Centre, Belgium.
The workshop addressed the long-term vision and provided strategic insight to the ESA and EDA approach in support of UAS beyond line of sight operations using Satellites (including for Command and Control data links and Air Traffic Management) and the related applications. It also expanded the consultation and dialogue of the two institutions with the UAS community and other stakeholders (EASA, Eurocontrol) on the short and mid-term way ahead regarding secure data links for safe integrated UAS operations.
To unleash the full potential of UAS, Europe needs a framework of rules and regulations designed to ensure safe operation needs to be developed, supported by proven reliable technologies.
In this context, Mr. Giampaolo Lillo, the EDA Armaments Director, explained in his speech that âFollowing the signature of the EDA/ESA Arrangement in December 2011 we now have the basis for enhanced cooperation. The European Defence Agency is ready to take on further work with the European Space Agency based on our common UAS demonstration project, the continuous dialogue with stakeholders and, of course, under the guidance of our Member States. I encourage all the participants to use this opportunity today and in the next period to shape the content and form the setup for the future work needed.â
Mr. Ginati, Head of the ESA Integrated and Telecommunications-related Applications Department stated that âThere is a growing demand for applications where UAS supported by space have an essential role bringing large benefits to numerous user communities covering ,among others, topics like monitoring of infrastructure (e.g. pipelines), monitoring of disaster consequences (e.g. floods, volcanic ash clouds, nuclear hazards) . ESA and EDA cooperation has stimulated the dynamic of European players in the UAS domain leading to the Integrated Application Promotion (IAP ) Demonstration Project. This is the first element of the ESA and EDA Joint Roadmap for UAS and the first project funded and managed jointly by the two Agencies. ESA is keen to start together with EDA the preparation of the second element, through consultation with all the stakeholders, including Regulators, Industry and ESA Member States.â
Information on the Invitation to Tender for the EDA/ESA common demonstration project is available here or via the ESA's EMITS website.