ESA title

Space Augmented UAM

  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAAviation, Infrastructure & Smart Cities, Transport & Logistics, Safety & Security, Energy, Education & Training, Finance, Investment & Insurance, Environment, Wildlife and Natural Resources

Objectives of the service

The Challenge

Cities looking to enable U-Space do not have an analysis for challenges, dangers, nor benefits (air and ground).

Drones have vastly varied capabilities, communications protocols, navigation, redundancy, and varied procedures on how to merge into a single airspace while increasing automation.

The study aims to explore the feasibility of a Space Augmented Service providing U-Space Integration
assessments for cities
utilizing economic, technical, and environmental simulations for predictive assessment
considering the individuality of each city, their geographic location, population density, established infrastructure, available assets and potential to generate a self-sustainable thriving Urban Air Mobility ecosystem.

The results will help establish a clear Roadmap and Recommendations for the development of sustainable UAM operations, regulatory and local municipality guidelines and further opportunities to integrate advanced space assets to everyday safe operations.

The goal is to go from Industry Push to User Pull.

Users and their needs

Cities need to enable and implement effective Urban Air Mobility to solve existing challenges and on a wider scale becoming U-Space ready while supporting the growth on the uptake of innovative solutions.

This means aligning with Energy and Climate Plans and various policies & strategies.

Existing challenges align commonly in the following categories:

  • Environmental

  • Infrastructure

  • Traffic / Congestion

  • Pollution

The provision of new services depends on the measurable (environmental) effect, plannable costs, predictable benefits, clear implementation requirements and administrative ease.

User Segments (EU)

  • Municipalities

  • Drone as a Service provider

  • 3rd parties benefiting from U-Space

Service/ system concept

The service works as a web platform which allows to easily familiarise the user with their goal and various examples serving as an educational aspect.

The user should enter the location they wish to conduct the analysis for – for example the city.

Next the primary use case is to be selected to determine the type of activity (delivery, data collection or surveillance).
Inputs are required for the baseline – goal: replacing existing traffic, manned survey and what it currently takes to complete it including the exact locations.

The system will use baselines including space assets to then calculate metrics for the existing scenario and a comparator estimate for UAM.

The user will receive key metrics (CO2, time, cost savings and potential safety aspects) as well as requirements for the city, operator, USSP, ANSP and any other recommendations.


Space Added Value

Quite literally, Urban Air Mobility wouldn’t work without space assets.

Space Augmented UAM uses Earth Observation assets to conduct analysis and recommendations for users, operators and systems integrators.

Space assets are required to guarantee the safety-critical aspects and as such the service may recommend space assets such as satellite communication to make tested use-cases feasible.

For detailed assessments targeting specific challenges in detail, the service should provide an API to allow connections from existing developed space solutions to provide the required details (for example counting specific objects from EO data to increase automation).

Current Status

The feasibility study has completed user requirements and needs gathering with cities of Tartu (EE) and Seinäjoki (FI) and completed the definition of required system and service architecture with readiness towards a service demonstration proposal.

  • Held workshops and validation sessions confirming cities requirements

    • 2 workshops in Tartu (5 city officials), monthly meetings in Tartu Urban Air Mobility development meetings (4 officials)

    • 2 virtual discussions with Seinäjoki (with 1 representative)

  • Completed mapping on cities challenges, key use-cases, expectations and product/market fit assessment 

  • Completed study assessing Earth Observation for Urban Air Mobility

  • Completed study on regulatory and standardisation concerning U-Space

  • Completed Use-case analysis matrix for top 5 use-cases:

    • Environmental, Infrastructure, Real-Estate, Energy and incident response

    • Methodology for calculating CO2 reduction

  • Created spill-over effect strengthening projects submitted under Horizon calls by project partners, up to city vertiport planning. 

  • Completed UAM City Roadmap based on SUMP (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan) methodology.

    • Association of Municipalities of Tartu County as first off-taker.

Prime Contractor(s)


Status Date

Updated: 14 February 2023