In Austria approval for unmanned aircraft is limited to operations within the direct line-of-sight of the remote pilot and well below flight altitudes of lower than 150 m above ground (UAS Class 1). Safe operations of UAS beyond visual line-of-sight (UAS class 2) are currently opposed by the lack of ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to the Command-and-Control link (C2 link) of the unmanned aircraft, to collision avoidance against terrain and other aircraft (Detect & Avoid), as well as to the required navigation performance to stagger the flight path from air traffic. Furthermore, ICAO Manuals on Aircraft Performance do not cover unmanned aircraft. The project proposal “DEMONA” targets to increase the TRL of these topics in a significant way.
The project team follows three top-level goals to improve the international visibility of the research to be carried out. On the aircraft system level and the technical/operational framework level, a certifiable reference architecture for small class-2 UAS and a reference architecture for a minimally equipped ground control station to operate the UAS are to be developed. They include the elements listed above. Using this reference system, a flight demonstration in airspace class “G” of a class-2 UAS as well as a Galileo-based UAS flight are to be carried out “for the first time” within Austria. Furthermore, a knowledge base related to UAS instrument procedures is to be developed and a GNSS-based automated landing approach of a class-2 UAS is tested.
The project partners plan to extend their leading role in UAS research and contribute to the development of technical and operational preconditions for UAS of class 2. They would like to strengthen the national RPAS community in ensuring and expanding the successfully conquered niche market for class-1 UAS and enabling new civilian applications.
This project is funded by the Austrian Promotion Agency (FFG) within the programme line "TAKE OFF".