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Metropolis 2: A unified approach to airspace design and separation management for U-space

Project description

Safe and efficient sharing of airspace with unmanned vehicles over European cities

The number and type of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) continues to increase. This creates a need to ensure safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for these large numbers of drones and other UAS. U-space was defined in 2017 as an enabling framework of services and procedures relying on sophisticated digitalisation and automation of functions. The EU-funded Metropolis 2 project will address the autonomy required to enable shared and not separate airspace for these vehicles in highly dense urban areas. Metropolis 2 will develop a unified approach to airspace rules as well as flight planning and separation management approaches for safe and efficient U-space operations over Europe's cities.


Metropolis 2 will provide the fundamentals for concrete solutions for U-space U3/U4 services that are needed to enable high-density urban aerial operations, with a unified approach to the following U-space services: strategic deconfliction, tactical deconfliction, and dynamic capacity management. Thus far, U-space efforts have focused on developing a set of baseline services (i.e. U1 and U2 capabilities enabling services such as identification, flight planning, and tracking). When deployed, these services will enable low traffic density applications such as agricultural surveillance and infrastructure inspection. Urban, high-density operations, however, will require a different approach, and a degree of autonomy that does not yet exist in current-day air traffic management. First, in order to sustain high traffic demands, the urban airspace must be able to allow a shared use of airspace, rather than the approach used today of exclusively assigning parts of the airspace to individual flights. Secondly, at the expected extremely high traffic densities, airspace design, flight planning, and separation management become increasingly interdependent. With the traffic densities that are considered for urban applications these interdependencies necessitate a unified approach to all aspects of traffic management that determine how vehicles interact with each other. This project will develop a unified approach to airspace rules on the one hand, and flight planning and separation management approaches on the other hand. It will build upon the results of the current U-space projects, the first Metropolis project, and established separation algorithms. Several concepts, differing in how separation is performed (strategic/tactical, ground/air) will be compared using simulations, and the most promising concept will be validated in a real-world demonstration. The results of Metropolis 2 will contribute towards enabling safe and efficient U-space operations in urban environments.


Net EU contribution
€ 423 140,00
2628 CN Delft

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Delft en Westland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 423 140,00

Participants (8)