The Swedish Air Navigation Services Provider (LFV), Linköping University (LiU) and Independent Business Group (IBG) will plan and conduct a flight with a larger drone that will carry 10 kg of cargo and transport it at least 50 km.
This is part of a major European effort to demonstrate the societal benefits of drone services and to prepare future guidelines for them. The area between Östergötland and Norrköping-Linköping is one of six places in Europe that carries out this demonstration of drone services in urban environments. The others are Paris, Brussels, and other places in Germany, Italy and Spain. Between the cities of Östergötland, flights are made from urban environment to urban environment, with the challenges that this entails. The test flight is scheduled for quarter 3, in 2022.
By defining the concept of operations, systems design and establishing a live demonstration, we at IBG along with our partners are at the forefront of challenging the new UTM and U-Space regulations set by EASA. We work closely with the transport agency and are designing an air corridor between two major cities. As cities are highly involved in planning the air corridors, we have engaged the two municipalities of Norrköping and Linköping to participate in the project. This is the first autonomous intercity Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight conducted in Europe and the project will engage multiple stakeholders (i.e., regulators, municipalities, ANSPs, UTM and eVTOL industry) to work together. IBG facilitates and coordinates this stakeholder engagement in Sweden and the preparations for the demonstration. In addition to that we are asked to take on the role as an operator, that actually flies the eVTOL from a city-based location to a controlled airspace in an airport environment.
Managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking and funded within the framework of Horizon Europe 2020, CORUS-XUAM – the Concept of Operations for euRopean U-space Services – eXtension for Urban Air Mobility, to give it its full name – is a two-year project that will define and test the required U-space services, capabilities and solutions needed for UAM to operate safely and efficiently.
The EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre in Brétigny, France is coordinating the project which comprises 19 partners and 11 related third parties, namely Groupe Aéroports de Paris, AOPA UK, ASLOGIC, DFS, DLR, Droniq GmbH, DSNA, ENAIRE, ENAV, HEMAV, INDRA, LFV Group, NATS, Pipistrel VS, SkeyeDrone, Unifly nv, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Volocopter, M3 Systems, Ehang Holding GmbH, Hologarde, CRIDA, D-FLIGHT, NAIS, DTA, IBG, Linköping University, Citymesh, SABCA.
With large-scale live UAM demos to be hosted by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK, CORUS-XUAM looks to tackle the key question for UAM: how can more people and packages move in and around cities – through point-to-point flights, bypassing ground congestion and with shorter journey times, while meeting the goal of decarbonising cities and offering smart and sustainable mobility solutions?
The project aims to highlight the importance of U-space solutions for integrated operations that require mutual traffic situational awareness. It will demonstrate integrated operations of both manned and unmanned aircraft employing advanced U-space services such as digital data exchange in urban, suburban and inter-city scenarios, as well as in and near airspaces and airports under ATM. The project will also explore ways to facilitate a proper interface with ATM/ANS (air navigation services), with a particular focus on airport operations.