skyguide and its project partners have announced the successful completion of Europe’s first live drone demonstration of U-space capabilities in Geneva on Thursday 14 September 2017. Championed by the European Commission, SESAR, and EASA, U-space is the digital infrastructure, services, and procedures that will support safe, efficient, and secure integration into European airspace for millions of drones.
The project partners – which included skyguide, AirMap, SITAONAIR, senseFly and PX4 – performed three live missions flown by senseFly’s albris and eBee Plus drones and a drone with pre-programmed PX4 flight controller to demonstrate how drones can be easily announced to the air navigation service provider through e-registration and e-identification. The integration with air traffic control, flight planning and airspace authorization as well as live tracking/telemetry and dynamic situational awareness were also part of the live demonstration.
The European Commission expects that the global marketplace for drone services will create more than EUR 10 billion in economic impact each year by 2035, and more than EUR 15 billion each year by 2050. U-space will pave the way for the growing drone economy, enabling situational awareness for drone operators and data exchange between drones and other stakeholders, law enforcement, and airspace managers.
The September 14 event was the region’s first real-time demonstration of U1 (e-registration, e-identification, and geofencing) and U2 (flight planning, flight approval, and dynamic airspace awareness) U-space capabilities – the first two of four planned milestones in the evolution of U-space.
Currently, U1 capabilities are expected to be operational in 2019. This demonstration marks an important achievement on the road to U-space, proving that U1 and U2 services can be deployed immediately in support of Europe’s growing drone ecosystem.
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