SESAR research adds demonstrations to support CORUS-XUAM concept of operations

After twelve months of intense preparation work, the first set of demonstrations planned by the SESAR 3 JU research project CORUS-XUAM got underway in March in France and Spain, with more sets of demonstrations planned until the end of the year in Italy, Belgium, Germany, UK, France and Sweden.

The CORUS-XUAM Concept of Operations under consolidation and the relevant demonstration campaign aim is to demonstrate how the U-space services could allow the safe, secure, and sustainable integration of UAS and UAM in a controlled and fully integrated airspace.

Urban air mobility (UAM) is enabled by advances in technology that has the potential to revolutionise the way people and packages move in and around cities by enabling green and sustainable mobility through point-to-point flights, by-passing ground congestion and shortening journey times contributing to the urban decarbonisation. It is also part of the European vision on U-space services allowing manned and unmanned airspace users to operate safely, securely, sustainably and efficiently in a controlled and fully integrated airspace, without undue impact on operations currently managed by ATM.

The vision involves new vehicle designs and enabling system technologies, as well as the development of new airspace management constructs, operational procedures and shared services to enable safe, quiet, environmentally sustainable, convenient and more efficient transport services than the ground-based mobility options available today. These challenging objectives can only be achieved through an evolutionary development process ensuring the definition and timely deployment of appropriate, advanced and interoperable U-space infrastructure, technology, and traffic management capabilities, providing advanced services that fit with expected types of operation and levels of demand. To meet this challenge, the project is leveraging on a group of partners, coordinated by the EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub in Brétigny, which is pooling the research expertise and knowledge of the air traffic management (ATM), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and UAM industries supported by a large number of industry advisory board members.

At this stage, CORUS-XUAM has already defined the reference demo scenarios with advanced U-space services to enable UAM operations and is currently consolidating the U-space ConOps after the recent Stakeholders Workshop held in March 2022 over four days with a large number of participants.

In parallel and in close coordination with the ConOps consolidation activity, a reference CORUS-XUAM Demonstration Plan has been already developed and delivered to SJU capitalising on the challenging objectives of the project demonstration campaign. These demonstrations will showcase a mix of manned and unmanned operations in challenging environments, such as in the vicinity of airports and other critical infrastructures such as ports, as well as very low-level (VLL) operations in urban, sub-urban and inter-urban areas.

The first in a series of demonstrations that are part of the CORUS-XUAM project took place recently at the Pontoise Aerodrome near Paris in February 2022 and involved Groupe ADP, Hologarde and M3 Systems/BOREAL with the goal to test all elements of airspace integration of drone traffic including UTM aspects such as tracking, monitoring, flight altitude checking and no-fly zone detection.

Another demonstration recently took place around the city center of Castelldefels, near Barcelona, involving ENAIRE, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, HEMAV, aslogic, Indra, CRIDA and MĀRS INTELLIGENCE to perform delivery flight tests (last-mile goods delivery by drones).

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This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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