Draft U-Space concept of operations to be published in June – report CORUS researchers

The SESAR Concept of Operation for EuRopean UTM Systems (CORUS) Horizon 2020 programme members will publish the first draft of a U-Space (the European system for management of drones) concept of operations (CONOPs) in June 2018,

Starting from the U-Space blueprint and from the ATM Master Plan update, the project will produce detailed definitions of the services necessary for very low level (VLL) drone operations over the next two years. The services will be defined in a way that shows how they can and should be used together to enable safe drone operations while balancing the needs of the drone sector with those of society as a whole.

A CORUS workshop in January 2018 hosted by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, explored the most relevant use cases for drone operations and identified a set of supporting services for the U-space drone management system for Europe. The workshop was attended by around 90 experts from the drone and manned aviation community of stakeholders, with representatives from drone operators, airspace users, manufacturers, research centres and universities, authorities, associations, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), airports and insurance companies.

A further workshop is planned to validate the concept (January 2019), followed by a dissemination event (August 2019). An initial architecture description will also be proposed.

Specifically CORUS will

  • Establish and clearly describe a concept of operations. Develop clear use cases for nominal scenarios and describe how losses of safety in non-nominal situations (e.g. contingency, emergency …) can be minimized
  • Address drones operations in uncontrolled airspace as well as in and around controlled or protected airspace (e.g. airfields)
  • Develop a concept enabling safe interaction with all different classes of airspace users taking into account contingencies and emergencies, and making clear any assumptions about the volumes of traffic
  • Examine non-aviation aspects, identifying key issues for society (e.g. safety and privacy, noise …) and offering solutions to ease social acceptance
  • Identify necessary services and technical development, quantifying the level of safety and performance required and proposing an initial architecture description.

The project involves nine partner organizations; DFS, DLR, DSNA, ENAV, EUROCONTROL (leading), HEMAV, NATS, Unifly and UPC. It is guided by an Advisory Board of 22 members, and a growing ‘U-space Community Network’ of stakeholders. The project also communicates and cooperates with other drone-related projects looking at specific technologies.

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