European Defence Agency selects AERTEC Solutions to assess safe termination of RPAS flights

The European Defence Agency (EDA) has awarded a consortium led by AERTEC Solutions in partnership with GMV a contract to assess the safe autonomous flight termination of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The SAFETERM project aims to assess different technological and certification approaches to RPAS autonomy to ensure a predictable yet adaptive aircraft behaviour in case of emergency leading to a flight termination. In particular SAFETERM will focus on emergencies involving multiple failures including C2 datalink loss, ie without Remote Pilot’s intervention.

Operating in non-segregated airspace is an important need of military RPAS for both training and operational purposes, and EDA is one of the major European stakeholder in this domain. Autonomy is a technical enabler for RPAS airspace integration, particularly for emergency situations in which the intervention of the Remote Pilot is no longer possible.

Notwithstanding the potential use of this capability on a wide range of RPAS, the target platform will be fixed wing large tactical or Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE)-type RPAS with a Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) larger than 500 Kg operating fully integrated into the European Air Traffic Management System (ATM).

This functionality is expected to use autonomous control algorithms as well as heavy use of machine learning techniques to detect, classify and model the environment required for the autonomous flying of a large RPAS.

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