Skip to main content

SKYOPENER - establishing new foundations for the use of Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems for civilian applications.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SKYOPENER (SKYOPENER - establishing new foundations for the use of Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems for civilian applications.)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-07-31

The European aviation community currently exchange views on how, and under which conditions, drones can offer new services and applications going beyond traditional aviation and offer the promise to perform existing services in a more affordable and environmentally friendly way. Indeed, these truly transformational technologies will help create promising new opportunities in Europe, offering sustainable jobs and new prospects for growth both for the manufacturing industry in particular for SMEs and for future users of drones in all sectors of society. The demand to operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) over long ranges is drastically increasing, due to their potential for a wide range of civil applications for the benefit of European citizens and industry. However the regulation regarding the use of RPAS in civil airspace is not yet ready to enable RPAS BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) operations. Indeed, remotely piloted aircrafts (RPA) are currently not allowed to fly in non-segregated civil airspace and, beyond military missions, are not yet widely used for civil and commercial applications.

SKYOPENER will enable the use of RPAS for civilian applications by contributing to the roadmap for the integration of civil RPAS into non-segregated airspace
The Consortium of SKYOPENER which is fully detailed in the chapter 3.3 is gathering the perfect group of experts and industries for this global approach which requires to fully master global risk analysis. The Swiss ANSP Skyguide as a partner of Skyopener together with the Insurance Company Global Aerospace as a member of the advisory board will play a significant role. Moreover, the consortium gathers all technology leaders such as in Navigation, Satcom, ATM and business process to ensure the detailed objectives that are derived from the global approach. The detailed objectives of SKYOPENER project are derived as follow:
1. Improve the reliability and security of navigation systems used on RPAS
2. Use SatCom as a compliment to GNSS to increase situational awareness of RPAS and to enhance traffic surveillance systems.
3. Use SatCom to increase the reliability of the RPAS communication systems
4. Develop security systems to mitigate against human error and security threats.
5. Develop more contingency systems on-board and on-ground systems that mitigate against the loss of command and control or human error.
6. Develop an ATM system dedicated to RPA VLL operations with interactive surveillance features - UAV Traffic Management (UTM)
7. Improve information processing and presentation on RPAS to reduce the risk of human error.
8. Develop a RPAS mission payload and software package for e-TOD services and linear surveillance operations BLOS.
"In the period covered by the present progress report, the main results achieved so far has been.
- Development of RPAS Mission Management Computer
- Satellite Communication / Communication Managements System
- definition the sensors suite, architecture, interfaces and operational requirements for the demonstration mission payload
- End users use case capture
- System high level functional specification and Architecture
- Definition of CNS functions for RPAS
- Identification of risks associated with flight tests
- functional scope of UTM and integration between the ATM-UTM and the Service-Platform
- Produce the Skyopner consortium web site and preparation of outline for the article 2017 editions of “RPAS: The Global Perspective""."
> Industrial impact
SKYOPENER is impacting a significant number of RPAS stakeholders: RPAS manufacturers, RPAS operators, ANSPs and the customers of RPAS operators such as critical infrastructure operators. For instance railroad operators or airports will benefit of the ability of an RPAS to offer new services and applications going beyond those offered by traditional aviation and at more attractive prices. Existing services can be made less expensive and more environmentally friendly.

> Societal impact
SKYOPENER will significantly reduce the risk of specific operations. The resulting benefit is to enable operation in locations requiring high data rate services that would be cost prohibitive for manned aircrafts. A system that will allow RPAS to fly safely will allow the provision of services in areas where a manned aircraft would present a risk to life, e.g. for missions such as humanitarian relief, border patrol and disaster scenarios, risk and thus cost could be reduced meeting market needs, particularly in countries unable to meet the cost imperatives in emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

> Commercial impact:
The acceleration of the roadmap towards the operation of RPAS in civilian airspace will have a huge impact on the service applications that can be offered by RPAS. Systems that enable RPAS to fly safely, in compliance with regulation will significantly reduce the cost of insurance premiums for RPAS operators. The reduced cost of insurance will make the RPAS applications more commercially attractive and widely used.
The lower cost of operating RPAS in comparison to manned aircraft will open their use to a range of markets having a positive impact on the RPAS and aviation industry of Europe. The SKYOPENER system will accelerate the implementation of the European roadmap and contribute to the European RPAS Strategy by giving European industry and commerce a head start in the international market resulting in increased jobs, taxes and the creation of more RPAS-related enterprises