"To unlock the true potential of the UAS market, stakeholders need to break a series of entangled challenges. Today, in the absence of UAS regulations, the development of solutions is risky and expensive for industry, and essentially aimed at military applications. As a result, the UAS market is small and its impact on European industry is limited. Also, there is no improvement in UAS social acceptance, including a lack of political willingness to develop regulations. While this vicious circle is what is preventing the development of a civil UAS market alongside the existing military UAS market, it is also a great opportunity for Europe to take leadership and to secure an advantageous position in what is predicted by many UAS market studies to be a large and sustainable market with spin-offs into manned aviation, space and other high-tech markets.
The overall objective of ULTRA is to develop a civil UAS Master Plan that will break this vicious circle in order to:
1. Unlock the true potential of the UAS market by addressing civil applications that are not systematically addressed today; and
2. Ensure that European industry plays a leading role at an international level in the development of UAS solutions.
The civil UAS Master Plan will build upon all relevant prior work (including the recommendations of the EU UAS Panel), and will leverage existing regulations and infrastructures in order to enable deployment of specific civil UAS applications within the next 5 years. The Master Plan will also highlight regulations and infrastructures that need to be developed in order to completely unlock the civil UAS market within the next 10-15 years, and will articulate the impact of a civil UAS market on European industry and quality of life.
To achieve this objective, ULTRA will employ the following high level approach:
- ULTRA includes world-recognized experts covering all UAS stakeholders, i.e. manufacturers, regulators, ANSPs, customers and research labs. Manufacturers will enable solutions, regulators and ANSPs will ensure that solutions are safe, customers will validate that solutions satisfy their needs and finally research labs will ensure promotion of innovative concepts. ULTRA will also seek the active involvement of EASA, EUROCONTROL and the NAAs (i.e. the regulators) in the document review process and in workshops.
- There is a strong emphasis on a coordinated, step-by-step and pragmatic approach to civil UAS insertion in order to deploy specific civil UAS applications in the short-term and minimize the cost, risk and stakeholder impact at each step.
- There is a strong focus on performing a gap analysis in order to build upon all relevant prior work, and identify the minimum required regulations and infrastructures that need to be developed in order to enable a civil UAS market. The intention is to reuse as much as possible existing infrastructures and innovative concepts in order to minimize development and deployment times, costs and risks.
- There is a strong emphasis on integrating SMEs into the UAS supply chain alongside Europe’s traditional aerospace industry that has a long history in the development of standards, certification and system integration. SMEs have the agility and speed required for short-term innovation that is a critical enabler for short-term civil UAS deployment. SMEs together with Europe’s traditional aerospace industry can provide solutions combining safety and affordability, as well as a healthy supply base ultimately resulting in European growth.
- There will be a strong focus on small UAS solutions (i.e. UAS < 150kg) that promise to be cost effective and to satisfy the needs of the civil UAS market (i.e. promise to have the largest socioeconomic impact). While ULTRA will focus on small UAS (due to budget and time limitations), if ULTRA identifies applications with a positive socioeconomic impact that require civil UASs > 150kg, ULTRA will comment on those in the civil UAS Master Plan.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCSA-SA - Support actions
40124 Bologna Bo
148 00 Praha