Objectives of the service
The objectives of the feasibility study are:
- To determine the feasibility and the overall planning for a UAS mission that will demonstrate:
-that UAS can be integrated (to a certain extent) into non-segregated airspace using space assets like satellite communications and satellite navigation for Command and Control, Sense and Avoid and ATC (Air Traffic Control) relay,
-the added value of satellite communications for high data-rate payload links.
- To provide a detailed investigation of the viability of the selected solution.
- To identify the investments necessary in the future and the next steps required in technical and regulatory terms to effectively establish a service solution. Furthermore, a roadmap for the development of specific institutional and commercial services should be provided.
- A review of stakeholder and user needs and a survey of feasible UAS missions for a demonstration project intended to take place in Europe in 2011/2012.
- A survey of available UAS platforms to be used for a future demonstration project
- A survey of available space assets able to fulfil the regulatory and user requirements.
- A characterisation of common UAS payloads.
- The selection of a representative mission for the end-users.
- Simulations and visualisations of the selected mission.
- The identification of the infrastructural needs and limitations and of the required endorsement of the stakeholders for the demonstration.
- A cost/benefit analysis and the analysis of non-economical viability aspects (legal, regulatory, etc.)
- The elaboration of a roadmap for the implementation of services making use of UAS and space assets.
- The preparation of a demonstration mission with a strong involvement of relevant user groups.
Users and their needs
Users for new institutional and commercial applications and services can be found for example in the following sectors:
- Maritime surveillance & coastguard
- Border control Civil security and Law enforcement
- Infrastructure monitoring (oil and gas pipelines, power grids, etc.)
- Disaster management and mitigation
- Fire fighting
- Agricultural, forestry and fishery monitoring
- Communications and Broadcasting
Space Added Value
The main benefits of integrating space based systems with UAS are:
- Demonstrating the capability to operate UAS safely in non-segregated air space (e.g. complying with the requested level of safety-of-flight communication needed for the operations).
- Opening a wide field of new institutional and commercial applications and services based on the usage of UAS in and beyond line of sight.
- Closing the gap between remote sensing data from Earth Observation satellites (spatial and temporal resolution) and in situ ground sensors by providing UAS:s as flexible tools with respect to spatial resolution (flight altitude), temporal resolution (revisit cycles), automation and endurance.
Phase 1 Mission Selection Completed
- End-users needs & stakeholders
- State-of-the-art of the UAS infrastructure
- State-of-the-art of the supportive space based assets
- Mission selection for a potential demonstration project
Phase 2 Mission Definition - Completed
- Detailed mission demonstration definition
- Selection of the mission simulation methodology
- Complete mission visualisation
Phase 3 Feasibility Assessment and Roadmap - Completed
- Technical feasibility assessment
- Cost/benefit analysis
- Non-economic viability analysis
- Roadmap for future developments
- Mission Plan for the UAS demonstration
The Final Review of the project was held in September 2010.