The overall context of the project is the safe and seamless integration of RPAS with other airspace users. In this global framework, several activities are on-going under ICAO coordination, based on the need of having coherent development of worldwide activities. As a consequence, ICAO constituted a specific UAS Study Group (UASSG) The UASSG has published its first document, the ICAO Circular 328-UAS, in March 2011.

The main purpose of the Circular was the definition of the ICAO perspectives on the integration of UAS in the non-segregated airspace, while emphasizing the differences from manned aviation that such integration will involve. Following the UASSG indications, ICAO upgraded on March 2012 the Standards for Annex 2-Rules of the Air, and Annex 7- Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks, specifically referring to RPAS applicable standards. It became effective from the following November.

In the EU context, relevant activities are on-going in the SESAR framework. Furthermore, the European Commission established the European RPAS Steering Group (ERSG), “aiming to identify, plan, coordinate and monitor the activities needed to achieve the safe integration of RAPS into the non-segregated ATM environment”. In compliance with the assigned aim, the ERSG issued in 2013 the European RPAS roadmap, aiming at an initial RPAS integration by 2016.

Based on the stimulus resulting from the ERSG roadmap, the present project aims to provide a contribution in terms of operational procedures and technologies evaluation through the completion of several demonstration activities involving different levels of testing (simulations and flight trials).

The overall aim of the project is the evaluation of proposed available technological solutions and procedures to support the integration of RPAS into the non-segregated ATM environment.

This will be pursued by means of relevant demonstration activities, whose specific objectives will be:

  • Assess the similarities of managing the RPAS flight in the unrestricted airspace, with respect to the manned aircrafts, from the ATM network and operators point of view;
  • Provide evidences of the peculiarities and possible effects on RPAS operations in the unrestricted airspace, due both to peculiar system architecture (pilot on ground) and to the specific technologies enabling the RPAS to flight (DAA, C2L);
  • Support the identification of possible incompatibilities of RPAS with the current ATM systems, functions, and operational aspects, in terms of operations, technologies, procedures;
  • Emulate and analyse malicious attacks on the communication/navigation radio links in order to assess the impact on the system performances and on the controller and remote pilot decisions;
  • Provide some data and considerations to identify guidelines to manage peculiarities and overcome incompatibilities for the RPAS integration in the unrestricted airspace.

These objectives will be achieved through a combination of Real-Time Simulations and Flight Trials with both simulated and real traffic. The focus of this objective will be on both procedural issues and technological aspects, addressing primarily the management of transitions between temporary segregated areas (TSAs) and non-segregated airspace together with the deployment of new detect and avoid and C2L technologies.