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U-space Separation in Europe

Project description

Setting the stage for manned aircraft and drones to safely share the skies

Drones are a growing business in Europe, offering huge potential for developing innovative civil applications in a wide variety of sectors. The EU-funded USEPE project plans to develop a concept of operations that ensures the safe separation of unmanned aerial vehicles (from other drones and manned aircraft) in a crowded urban airspace. To account for highly demanding environments such as cities, additional factors will be included in the concepts, for example the drone’s close proximity to buildings and extreme turbulent wind shears in urban canyons. Furthermore, the project will evaluate new machine learning methods to automate separation management.


The U-space concept was the response of the Warsaw Declaration in 2017 to use drones as a leverage for jobs and new business opportunities. The U-space Blueprint published by the SESAR Joint Undertaking in 2017, states that “U-space is a set of new services and specific procedures designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for large numbers of drones”.
The number of drones' applications is increasing and, with them, the number of drones that will be flying simultaneously in a same geographical area that will need to be safely separated between them and from manned aircraft to allow the maximum number of flights in a given airspace. The separation problem becomes even worst when flights take place in an urban environment where buildings and extreme turbulent wind shear appears close to them.
USEPE is aware of these problems and will research on drones’ separation methods in high demanding environments such as cities. This research will be accompanied by a concept of operations that will be implemented and simulated for its validation. USEPE will also research on the use of machine learning algorithms to automate the safe separation and deconfliction of drones while maintaining airspace capacity in different environments and provide the U-space separation management system with artificial intelligence to comply with the statement made in the European ATM Masterplan Roadmap for the safe integration of drones into all classes of airspace. “[…]to take advantage of the latest developments related to technological areas, such as artificial intelligence […]”.
In order to obtain valuable results, a casuistic of real urban scenarios will be defined and their feasibility will be assessed to select and implement the more suitable ones and perform a full validation by using the European Operational Concept Validation Methodology (E-OCVM).
The research approach will take into account both the strategic and tactical flight phases.


Net EU contribution
€ 262 708,75
Calle beatriz de bobadilla 3
28040 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (6)