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UV Europe 2011: Civil airspace crucial for European UAVs

15th June 2011 - 17:19 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The integration of UAVs into the civil airspace has been described as 'an essential ingredient' for the future of the European unmanned market, according to a senior official within the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Speaking to delegates at the UV Europe conference in Brussels, the EDA's principal UAV officer Jens Fehler referred to the organisation's ongoing €50m MIDCAS (Mid-air Collision Avoidance System) which has involved lead nation Sweden as well as France, Germany, Italy and Spain since 2009. He described it as a vital piece in the airspace integration puzzle but warned that Europe still lacked overarching legislation.

'National concepts are necessary and the military and regulators within national aviation authorities must come to solutions which mirror the needs of the military as well as the authorities that organise the airspace,' he said.

Designed to demonstrate a baseline of solutions for UAS collision avoidance by 2015, the EDA programme is testing various sense and avoid technologies which will allow UAVs to 'feel' other aircraft in the airspace.

In addition, Fehler described how the EDA was expecting to demonstrate another ongoing programme, designed to extend UAV connectivity via satellite communications systems. Having started the 'Air Traffic Management (ATM) Link' initiative earlier in the year, he stated that a full demonstration could take place in 2012 under the auspices of an individual and as yet undisclosed national air force.

The ATM Link requirement is designed to relay sensor payload data, command and control signals and air traffic control information via line-of-sight (LoS) and beyond LoS communications using the satellites.

The Shephard News Team


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