European drone strike research secures EUR1.8 million Horizon 2020 grant

UK research establishment QinetiQ is to lead the Horizon 2020 programme: ‘Vulnerability of manned aircraft to drone strikes’ – one of five research contracts funded in the latest round of Europe’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.  The projects are managed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and are part of the Commission ‘smart, green and integrated transport initiative.

This project has three main objectives:

  • Deepen the understanding — through experimental testing and simulation techniques — regarding the effects of the collision of mass market drones (threat) with manned aircraft (target);
  • identify drone design strategies aimed at containing the risk that drone-aircraft collision may induce on the aircraft and its occupants; and
  • define a draft design requirement and test standards for future drones to be put on the market within the EU open category (CE marking).

The project scope includes a review of technology, establishing a ‘collision envelope’, developing and validating models, simulating collision events, designing a tool to map damage, design improvements, recommendations for drone design and test standards, and engaging with stakeholders.

EASA is acting as the technical and contracting authority. The results of these research actions will be used to strengthen the European modelling capabilities for environmental impact assessments, to improve the effectiveness of the regulatory framework, and to further develop the risk scenarios of drone strikes.

The project is due completion in June 2023.

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