Eurocae launches call for participation in WG-105 SG-2 to examine cellular networks for safe UAS operations

European standards agency Eurocae has launched a call for participation to inform concerned stakeholders about an ongoing activity in WG-105 SG-2 on Command, Control, Communication, Spectrum, and Security. This Sub Group is involved in the development of a Minimum Operational Performance Specification for UAS Communications by Cellular Networks in collaboration with RTCA SC-228 SG-2.2 to achieve international acceptance, and maximise harmonisation and common service equipment specifications.

The Global UTM Association (GUTMA) has teamed with the GSM Association (GSMA) to form the “Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity” (ACJA). The ACJA aims to bring 3GPP, RTCA, EUROCAE and others together to develop standards (MASPS and MOPS) for using mobile cellular networks (MCN) to implement telecommunications services for safe operation of UAS.

RTCA SC-228 WG-2 proposes to develop a “C2 Link MOPS for Cellular Networks” as a first step to achieving the ACJA objectives.

As per EASA UAS categories, the “Certified” category seems the most interesting and challenging target. It will probably need to be used in many Specific category operations where the operational environment demands a high target level of safety and a certified system. But both Certified and Specific category UAS can be targeted at this stage.

Application to support the implementation of UTM (or U-space in Europe) is also an area of interest for ACJA.

The following tasks are performed by the Sub Group with respect to this activity:

  • Adaptation of the CONOPS (e.g., Appendix A of DO-377A) to the European environment, which requires airworthiness, operational and ATM expertise
  • Develop minimum performance requirements for the C2 link, independent of the technology (4G LTE / 5G)

Future activities of WG-105 in this domain could include several complementary activities that will need to be refined and formally approved:

  • Develop guidance material to establish common concepts and terminology between Mobile Cellular Networks (MCN) and aviation domains
  • Develop MOPS for other services beyond C2, identified by the Airborne Communications Joint Activity (ACJA)
  • Propose exploitation of other standard features from 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)

The activity requires expertise beyond aeronautical telecommunications and requires inputs from:

  • Airborne Equipment vendors
  • 3GPP Equipment Vendors
  • Silicon IP companies and fabricators
  • Network Service Providers
  • Liaison Partners

Experts in airworthiness and European operations must also be involved to ensure that certification requirements and aspects of CONOPS, especially airspace compatibility, are harmonised.

The call for participation closes on 10 January 2022.

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