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NAVISAS Report Summary

Project ID: 699387
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NAVISAS (Navigation of Airborne Vehicle with Integrated Space and Atomic Signals)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Airspace is a precious resource subject to mounting demand by all types of users (airliners, small aircraft, helicopters, balloons and drones). To cope with demand there’s been increasing dependence on satellites (such as GPS) to help air navigation. The problem is if those satellites fail, the current navigation systems will not be able to cope with the amount of users or deliver the expected performance. Moreover, small aircraft and drones generally do not have access to existing navigation systems equipment.
The NAVISAS project aims to develop a concept for small aircraft to obtain alternative positioning, navigation and timing (APNT) information when satellite navigation fails while keeping performance and efficiency consistent with the airspace requirements. NAVISAS will achieve this goal by merging satellite navigation based on multiple constellations (e.g. GPS and GALILEO) with an advanced inertial measurement unit (IMU) based in atomic gyroscopes implemented using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology (as represented in Figure 1).
NAVISAS will pave the way for a new cost effective instrument that can be used by small aircraft to ensure navigation performance levels consistent with evolving airspace and air traffic. The NAVISAS concept aims at improving the flight safety level, as well as the ATM performance and efficiency.

The first objective of the project is to investigate the feasibility, specifications and limits of an APNT concept grounded on the merger of multi-constellation GNSS based navigation with an advanced inertial measurement unit (IMU) based in atomic gyroscopes implemented in MEMS technology.
Multi constellation GNSS navigation requires stable timing references. The consortium proposes to integrate atomic clocks in the concept and in particular investigate how an atomic clock can be integrated with an atomic gyroscope in the MEMS cell fabrication process and same physical package. This constitutes the second objective of the project.
After these analyses, it is important to assess the impact of this concept on both safety and performance of small aircraft as well as of the ATM system. This assessment constitutes the third objective.
The final objective of the project is to prepare a development roadmap that will enable the consortium to understand how this concept can be further matured, deployed and adapted to other aircraft beyond small aircraft.
For the purposes of NAVISAS, small aircraft include the following vehicles:
• Ultra Light (UL) Aircraft, generally understood to be single- or two-seater fixed wing or rotorcraft with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) below 600Kg. A complete definition of UL aircraft will be provided in deliverable D2.1.
• Very Light Aircraft (VLA) as defined by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in its certification specifications (CS-VLA).
• Normal, utility, aerobatic and commuter aeroplanes as defined by EASA in its certification specifications CS-23.
• Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) as defined by EASA in its proposed amendment for the introduction of a regulatory framework for the operation of drones.
Both operations under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) as well as Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) will be considered.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this first period NAVISAS focused on the definition of NAVISAS requirements. The consortium established a process to derive the requirements, analysed and discussed which aspects constituted true requirements for NAVISAS and produced a document compiling the conclusions and results of that analysis.

Furthermore, the consortium developed a preliminary conceptual design of the NAVISAS system and defined its functional block diagram taking into account navigation, operational, end user and aeronautics points of view and related requirements, as well as the SESAR’s vision for future ATM operations (SESAR European ATM Master Plan). Requirements for each component were presented.

Finally, the team identified design assurance standards and environmental and performance constraints specific to commercial aircraft which might impact NAVISAS with a view towards potential future exploitation of the project results in commercial aviation. A preliminary plan for the integration of this kind of system in aeronautics was proposed and the possible market which is available in the future for the application of this technology was estimated.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Being in its initial stages, the project hasn’t progressed beyond the state of the art in terms of SNMR gyro, atomic clocks or combination of multi constellation GNSS with inertial measurement systems. Nevertheless, the consortium has successfully achieved its first two milestones including the definition of a preliminary conceptual design and functional block diagram for the NAVISAS APNT system. This is represented in Figure 2.

During the period, the consortium has begun testing gyro performance and a detailed discussion of what parameters to test and how to test them has been carried out. Results are expected to become available during the next two reporting periods.

Related information

Record Number: 194967 / Last updated on: 2017-02-17
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