VVA, GMV and CATEC head consortium to research Galileo, EGNOS services for drone operations

VVA (Valdani Vicari & Associati) GMV and CATEC has been contracted by the European Commission DG GROW to provide support to the standardisation actions for European global navigation satellite system (EGNSS) EGNOS and Galileo procedures. The project, to be completed by September 2019, falls under the overall context of the Space Strategy for Europe adopted by the Commission in October 2016.

Although GNSS services could potentially enhance drones operations, namely through enhanced cybersecurity features and better performance provided by Galileo and EGNOS, the absence of GNSS requirements for drones prevents a complete identification of GNSS added value. Hence the importance of standardization requirement, which should not only address the rapidly evolving market needs but also guarantee safety and security on EU territory.

The overall objectives and activities of this specific project are to:

  • Assist DG GROW in its efforts to introduce EGNSS among the standards for the Open, Specific and Certified drones’ categories, including preparation and attendance to EUROCAE meetings and other standardisation groups;
  • Assist DG GROW in the developments of U-Space and its standards;
  • Help DG GROW to address effectively public and private stakeholders of the drone manufacturing and operating industries and other aviation domains
  • Perform a feasibility analysis on the performance achievable (current and foreseen in the future) through GNSS to support the definition of the functions that require GNSS data (navigation, electronic identification and geo-fencing) identified in the EASA Opinion for the operation of UAS (EASA Opinion No 01/2018) and U-Space;
  • Perform an analysis of additional functionalities which may be positive differentiators of EGNSS vs other GNSS solutions (authentication, high accuracy, etc.) to support the definition of the previous functions or others identified in the upcoming EASA Opinion and U-Space.

To achieve the objectives set for this project, the Consortium will be engaged in six intertwined activities:

  • Provision of a roadmap on the contribution of EGNSS capabilities to the various standardisation processes which contain an analysis of the EGNSS capabilities for drones alongside the identification of all standardisation bodies, working groups and standardisation process within these groups for each of the drones’ categories. Combined with the review of the available standardisation material, this Task aims to develop a roadmap for the EGNSS contribution to the drones’ standardisation processes.
  • Perform technical analyses and testing campaigns through the verification of the technical requirements in drones standards as well as perform a feasibility analysis of the achievable GNSS performances as well as the SORA risk analysis. On top of these analyses, the Consortium will perform and analyse the results of three test campaigns/trials in coordination with CATEC. The focus of these trials would be: the comparison between positioning data from different GNSS systems , static geofencing and geocaging (provisional date to be held – March 2019); multi-GNSS and multi-sensor, risk analysis with SORA and dynamic geofencing and geocaging (provisional date to be held- end of April 2019); urban environment with AESA formal involvement, the comparison between different positioning data, static geofencing and geocaging (provisional date to be held- June 2019).
  • Prepare and execute standardisation requests to the appropriate bodies to introduce EGNSS to the different drone categories by attending a maximum of thirteen standardisation meetings during the project. This task will go hand in hand with additional technical analyses.
  • Support in the coordination with relevant stakeholders such as SJU, EASA, EU Member States and European ANSPs/CAAs and stay informed of the latest developments across these entities so to help the Commission in lining up support to promote in corresponding standardisation fora the added value that EGNSS can provide for drone operations.
  • Engage with the drone industry by preparing promotional material including technical brochures as well as by attending various stakeholders’ meetings or events. On top of that, a project-specific workshop could be set up to actively engage industry representatives.
  • Perform economic feasibility assessments through a dedicated Cost-Benefit Analysis so to properly assess the associated costs and benefits of EGNSS standardisation and to prepare an up-to-date mapping of the drone industry value chain.


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