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Study on High Altitude Aircrafts and Airships (HAAS), deployed for specific aeronautical and space applications

Final Report Summary - USE HAAS (Study on high altitude aircrafts and airships, deployed for Specific aeronautical and space applications)

The objectives of the project USE HAAS were:
1. to analyse the world state-of-the-art including HAAS aeronautical uses;
2. to develop tentative research objectives for HAAS deployment;
3. to discuss in workshops and working groups, objectives and prepare a potential Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for the HAAS sector, including research and development needs programme in aeronautics;
4. to disseminate recommendations on the objectives, i.e. the aeronautical research agenda;
5. to issue the final report including the conclusions, and the impact on regulations;
6. to make recommendations for the coordination of activities in this sector and for defining and disseminating a technological roadmap and a SRA for the HAAS sector based upon the inputs given by the end-users and any potential industrial partner.

The HAAS Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were:
a) the Global observer UAV (20 km altitude; one week and endurance; 400 kg payload);
b) the Heron high altitude UAV' (10-15 km altitude; 30-50 hours endurance; 300 kg payload);
c) the Hermes 1500 high altitude UAV (10 km altitude; 26 hours endurance);
d) the Mercator high altitude UAV (17 km altitude, 70 hours endurance; 5 kg payload).

The HAAS unmanned airships were:
a) the ATG stratsat airship (20 km altitude; 1 month endurance; 400 kg payload);
b) the Lockheed-Martin airship (20 km altitude; 1 month endurance; 150 kg payload).

The HAAS long endurance aircraft was:
a) the Helios aerovironment - NASA HALE UAV (20 km altitude; 6 months endurance).

The working groups (WGs) and chairmen were allocated as follows:
- WG1: Hairships - high altitude airships (Chairman Bernd Straeter / Zeppelin)
- WG2: Haircraft - high altitude aircraft (Chairman Paul Davey / QinetiQ)
- WG3: HAAS communications (Chairman Patrice Bongibault / EADS)
- WG4: HAAS security (Chairman Stefan Axberg / FHS)
- WG5: HAAS remote sensing (Chairman Bavo Delaure / VITO).

The first workshop was mainly intended to disseminate to the new HAAS sector the planned USE HAAS activities and to involve in these activities as many as possible participants from the new HAAS sector including European Union (EU) stakeholders and HAAS platform developers from United States, from Russia, from Japan and from Korea. At the discussions in the workshop round table it was made very clear that the USE HAAS consortium is willing to cooperate with all the present and future participants in completing the tasks that the consortium undertook in this project.

The second workshop was also the final important event of the USE HAAS project and intended mainly to:
1) to summarise the current HAAS state-of-the-art of unmanned aircraft and trends of the sector in future developments;
2) to introduce and present the draft version of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) prepared by the consortium and by the five WGs during their meetings under the leadership of the WGs' chairmen.

The main achievement of the USE HAAS project is that it succeeded to determine and to initiate the launching of the HAAS sector equipped with the HAAS SRA-strategic research agenda proposed.

The main conclusion derived of the USE HAAS study is the need for establishing a forum to follow up the activities in the HAAS sector to implement the recommendations of the HAAS SRA and to promote the legalisation of necessary regulations for current deployment of HAAS unmanned aircraft for civilian applications. As recommended following such a forum is an HAAS observation platform (HAASOP) to include major HAAS stakeholders, relevant industries, research institutes and end-users.

It can be concluded that the USE HAAS project has been considered as highly successful when looking at the number, the quality and the variety of the participants who took part in the consortium activities, and when considering the amount of comments, discussions and feedback the consortium has received thanks to its activities. It also helped to prepare and to review the HAAS SRA presented at the last important event in the second workshop.

Second, we can conclude that the main results of USE HAAS project and of the consortium activities are in three aspects:
1. the involvement of relevant HAAS sector members in the consortium activities and the beginning of the formalisation of this new sector;
2. the preparation and the acceptance of the HAAS SRA as basic document aiming to follow up and promote future implementation of R&D needs analysed in the SRA and to follow up implementation of conclusions and recommendations;
3. analysis of the HAAS state-of-the-art by having real presentations of the worldwide ongoing HAAS projects in United States (Lockheed-Martin; Aerovironment, NASA), in Japan (JAXA, NICT), in Korea (ETRI, KARI) and in Europe (QinetiQ, IAI, Elbit and others).