Certiflight U-space drone/GA flight-tracking-by-GNSS research consortium makes early progress

The First Advisory board meeting took place on 17 May in Naples of the Certiflight research consortium.

The Certifilght “Certified E-GNSS remote tracking of drone and aircraft flights” project is a 30-month research programme that aims to develop and test a digital service for the generation of certified reports of flight tracks and the flight logs of uncrewed and general aviation aircraft, especially for safety-critical and commercially valuable applications.

According to the project’s website:

“The service will also be included in the USSP/UTM service provider’s software as commercial Recording Service. In addition, the recorded tracks may be useful for law enforcement, for instance sanctions for airspace infringement, as well as for possible accident or incident investigations.

“The core of the system is a Digital EGNSS/IoT Device installed on UAS and General Aviation manned aircraft, equipped with an OSNMA Galileo/EGNOS enabled receiver, capable to guarantee the authenticity of their position information at the origin, without the possibility to be counterfeited or spoofed. Tracking information is encrypted and once transmitted to the Certiflight platform is permanently stored by automation software to an unalterable blockchain private node.”

The project is coordinated by TopView s.r.l. and the consortium comprsises D-Flight, UpVision, Unifly, Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale, TA, The Sara Project, TuDelf, Way4WARD, Aria United, EuroUSC España and EuroUSC Italia. Certiflight was presented to the call HORIZON-EUSPA-2021-SPACE-02-53: EGNSS applications for the Digital Age and became one of the projects selected by the European Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA).

On March 21, representatives of EUSPA, the project consortium and the two technical reviewers, met in Prague to discuss the preliminary design of the Certiflight solution. The objective of the meeting was to agree on design choices and better understand their implications, as those will be the basis for the coming technical work of the project.

The programme started in November 2022 and will last 30 months.

“The Certiflight project represents a very exciting challenge, as its aim is to ensure the “chain of trust” of information generated by drones and leisure aircrafts accessing the U-space airspace that it is expected to become very congested in the next years,” according to according to Alberto Mennella Certiflight Project Coordinator, in a website commentary. “With the advent of drones as mass-market and professional-market phenomenon, in the Open and Specific Categories, it is important to ensure that the related tracking data generated are trustful enough to be used both as payment mechanisms (for example, a trustful tracking system can be used as billing mechanism for Clients and UAS operators for charging drones’ missions based on the effective hours of flight) and trustful logging system. For this reason, Certiflight aims at filling this gap through the implementation of a Certification platform for payload data and remote tracking generated by drones that can be used by UAS Operators, their Clients and Authorities as Auditing System,

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(Image: Shutterstock)

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