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Airborne data collection on resilient system architectures

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ADACORSA (Airborne data collection on resilient system architectures)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-04-30

Amaras Law states that we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short term and underestimate its impact in the long. Drones may only have limited application today as the playthings of children and enablers of spectacular camerawork, but there are few emerging technologies that have the potential to catalyse equivalent fundamental change in our mobility infrastructure, given that they promise application of the third dimension to relieve some of the pressure on our increasingly overburdened transport networks.
The “plateau of productivity” for drones holds enormous promise but demands new technical and regulatory capabilities to support drone operations in long range, semi-autonomous use cases Beyond Visible Line Of Sight (BVLOS). Integration with existing planning and flight management infrastructures, highly reliable multi-technology communication systems, reliable power, fail-operational hardware and fault tolerant software are all needed. For drones, none of these things exist, in a commercially usable form, today.
SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) has already started work on regulatory and procedural structures for drone co-existence with crewed traffic with the U-Space architecture and has defined levels of implementation of that architecture U1-U4 covering the period from 2019 to 2035. This will demand new technical capabilities that are not available at realistic price points today.
That is not to say these technologies will be created in a vacuum – many of them already have analogues in the “traditional” aerospace arena. Alongside that, the drive for connected and autonomous automobiles has also created impetus for some of these pieceparts at price points and multiplicities that the traditional aerospace industry can only dream of. A project addressing widespread drone deployment must therefore bring together the widest possible set of stakeholders from across our entire technical corpus, including the traditional aerospace and automotive industries, to ensure the best possible technical solutions are developed. It is properly the role ECSEL to nurture such a ‘broad church’, to deliver a project that truly changes the landscape of drone development for the next thirty years.

ADACORSA is that project.

ADACORSA is a project to develop sensor and communication technologies for drones to give drones the chance being safe and efficient “elements” for observation, analysis, or transport in an extended out of line-of-sight operation range. The strategic aim is to:

• Helping unlock potential in long-range and BVLOS drone operations
• Contributing to higher public and regulatory acceptance of drone use
o More robust and reliable technologies through functional redundancy
o Better sensors via fusion and more reliable communications via integration of data links
• Further strengthen the integration of automotive and drone industry
o World-class sensors from automotive industry
o Commercial off-the-shelf data communication technologies and services
o Design for automotive-style efficient production of components and subsystems

In order to keep the leading competitive strength, and to respond to the global challenge, the ECSEL-JU project ADACORSA has gathered Europe’s leading semiconductor companies, suppliers, and research institutes to create a pan-European eco-system, which has the critical mass to initiate standards and to provide relevant sensors, components, architectures and subsystems for a completely new type of drones.
ADACORSA is a large and complex R&D project, requiring adequate management and quality assurance structures. The key characteristics of the project are:

• 50 Partners from 12 EU countries
• Around 41 Mio Euro total budget
• Around 12 Mio Euro of funding
• Total work effort 4510 PMs
• 8 work packages and 10 supply chains
• 77 deliverables
• Research and innovation action with different Technology Readiness Levels (TRL 2 to 5)
The first project year was characterized by the start phase of the project as a whole, and the active work packages in particular. Suitable structures and processes were defined. Given the large consortium and the manifold of technical objectives and views, during the first year an excessive amount of communication was needed. This includes the organization and moderation of kickoff meetings, vision and technical workshops, phone conferences etc.
The project internal data exchange server is in operation since the start of the project. The public project website is up and running and regularly updated. After the first year of the project, we conclude that the high amount of communication effort was really valuable but that the project all over had a really hard start in the high season of COVID 19 – The topic that no face-to-face meetings were possible, the partners had problems in hiring suitable employees and that most of the partners had to fight with short-time work and home office, didn’t let the project started smoothly and easily .
The active work packages are currently partly good in line with the plan and partly a bit behind the timeline. Special problems developed especially in the WP1 where all the requirements have been developed. Finally the first results can be shown by the first set of valuable Deliverables. As a particular highlight in period 1, the booth of ADACORSA at the EFECS 2020 fair which was also held virtual, shall be mentioned.
Within the 5 foci of ADACORSA there a different targets:

Drone Avionics:
Drones should be able to detect and avoid a collision with cooperative and non cooperative flying or fixed obstacles. This is strongly dependent on Sensors - which are partley developed inside the project. Some aspects will be demonstrated in the flying demonstrators.
An other important feature especially for delivery of goods drones should be able to take off and land automatically
Addional functions of the Drone Avionics are communication with air traffic management and ground control stations.

Infrastructure:
The drone system has to maintain a safe and secure communication between flying part and ground control station. The Drone system has to register within the ATM System.

Legal and Regulatory framework:
A new regulatory network that drones can fly BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) needs to evaluated. ADACORSA will keep the project updated on the development of this regularly aspects and gives advice for development rules and requirements according this.

Security:
Beside the Saftey aspects of drones systems security is a most important issue. The experience in automotive of reports on hacked auto mobiles gives input to secure communication links.

Social acceptance:
From the binning of Drones there are a lot of concerns about using drones. The public acceptance is an important point of using drones. ADACORSA contributes with metrics and evaluation of public acceptance of drones within a broad spectrum of European countries.
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