In reference to the SJU Annual Work Programme 2016, this topics covers Section 3.5.3 (e) 2) topic d).
This topic covers technologies that will need to be fitted to drones in order to implement the concept of operations for VLL drones. It is recommended that the project proposing to cover this topic works closely with Topic 1 in order to promote a coherent approach to addressing the problem. Since there are likely to be a wide variety of drone types, operating in different ways, the project should consider not just individual technologies, but how such technologies should interoperate with other drones and manned aviation, especially when large numbers of drones are deployed. The impact on spectrum should also be considered where applicable.
This Topic should address all aspects of airborne technology, including Communications, Navigation and Surveillance systems, Detect and Avoid systems, auto-pilot systems (including for autonomous operations). The Topic should include coverage of the miniaturisation of drone technologies and what could be done to produce lower-cost systems than are currently in use in manned aviation, including the use of non-certified systems.
VLL drones represent a new type of air vehicle that operate in a fundamentally different way to conventional aviation. In order to remain safe and effective, they will require new technologies to be developed and installed on the air vehicle itself, or for existing technologies to be used in a different way, both of which should be safely interoperable with existing manned aviation.
There is a wide variety of drone types varying from those small ‘toy-like’ machines with limited capability, all the way up to highly-advanced systems with performance very similar to manned aircraft. Consequently, the range of technologies needed to enable all anticipated variations in drone operations is vast. This project is expected to explore a comprehensive range of options for airborne technology across the full range of drone operations, enabling the growth of the sector and the safe integration of drones with other drones and with manned aviation.