SESAR U-ELCOME project demonstrates BVLOS drone flights close to Madrid

The SESAR U-ELCOME research project carried out logistics drone test flights in the surroundings of Cantoblanco Hospital in Madrid, Spain, on 24 February 2024. Over a 30-minute period, project partners completed four demonstration flights.

Initially two test flights were undertaken, followed by two real use cases to demonstrate delivery logistics. The flights were possible due to permission granted by AESA, coordination with Barajas Airport, and collaboration of Hospital Universitario La Paz. The flights were supported by Bluenest by Globalvia is a Spain-based vertiport services company.

The four flights reached a height of 40 meters above the ground and the following sensors were used for the proper development of the tests:
• ADS-B & Transponder > To be seen by ATC
• Sound level meter > To gather noise info for KPI fulfilling during the takeoff at different distances
• Anemometer > To operate the drone safely.

The following devices and systems were also used during the demo flight session:

  • DRI – Dronetag (EASA certified) > To issue the position where the aircraft is located
  • UTM: ITG USSP – DALIAH (prior AIRUS) > To show the position, heading and other flight data of the aircraft issued by the DRI
  • Every flight was monitored by APP and HMI.

U-ELCOME is a three-year project coordinated by the Eurocontrol Innovation Hub and funded by CINEA in cooperation with SESAR 3 JU. It aims to pioneer the U1 and U2 service levels in Italy, Spain, and France. With demonstrations taking place in these three European countries, the project aims to develop interoperability and support EU harmonisation of U-space services.

The U-ELCOME project was launched 15 months ago with funding from the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) in cooperation with the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking as one of its flagship Digital Sky Demonstrators (DSDs).

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