Project: Adaptive Routing and Conflict mAnagement for Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles

Background_x000D_One important change in Aeronautics and Air Traffic Management (ATM) is the progressive introduction of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for civil scopes. Civilian UAV flight operations may include important tasks, such as: Natural Disaster and Emergencies Assistance; Nuclear Facilities Protection; Pipeline Inspection; Pollution Assessment and Monitoring. For the moment UAV flights are limited to restricted airspaces, that is well confined areas, limited in size and not connected each other, were commercial flights are not allowed. However, this limitation represents a major restriction and a significant obstacle for the scope and usefulness of UAV missions, and various countries aim to introduce UAV systems in the non-restricted civil airspace in the timeframe 2010-25 [1]._x000D_In recent years, this interesting and strategic issue was under analysis in different European and national projects, such as USICO and INOUI in the European FP6, or ASTRAEA in UK. Moreover, the joint FAA/EUROCONTROL initiative and the newborn EUROCONTROL 'UAS/ATM Integration Activity' are working for the integration of UAV into the European ATM network. Several solutions are adopted to control the UAV flight, from the simple remote control, to more autonomous solutions, based on pre-programmed flight plans or on more complex dynamic automation systems. These solutions shall ensure that UAV are able to reach safely their destination and return back to their basis, co-ordinating their flight trajectories and missions with those of other UAV if necessary. Requirements are more stringent when considering the case of flight in the non-restricted airspace, for which new operational procedures and rules are needed. In such a context, the UAV flight control system shall be able to ensure adequate and safe separation from the commercial aircraft in all cases, including the presence of possible failures and adverse environmental conditions. Of course, this change cannot be achieved immediately but requires an adequate transition process, that will also be needed to demonstrate that UAV have reached the needed performances and the adequate level of integrity._x000D__x000D_Goal_x000D_The goal of the project is to develop an onboard flight system able to guide a UAV towards a specific destination modifying its own flight trajectory in reaction to a variety of external situations, COtaining the separation with other aircrafts. _x000D_In restricted airspaces this system will allow a UAV to separate from other UAV by co-ordinating with them and solving possible trajectory conflicts. The system will also offer the same capabilities for the non restricted airspace, including separation from commercial aircraft. This capability will only be exploitable if particular operational conditions are met (e.g. all commercial traffic is equipped with the devices for providing navigation information such as the ADS-B; adequate ATM procedures are defined to deal with equipment failures). However, the presence of this system will allow the first tests and experiences in this direction facilitating a smooth introduction of UAV in the non restricted airspace. _x000D__x000D_Activity_x000D_The CO functions required to the onboard flight system will be: Path Planning and Conflict Detection & Resolution. These functions will be ensured by refining and improving an algorithm, based on Multi-agents Systems and Game Theory, developed by two of the consortium Ps in a national project. The algorithm will be integrated with a positioning system and a communication system able to exchange traffic information with all the interested parties (other UAV, manned aircraft, ground station) using an ADS-B compatible format. The whole system will be tested both through simulations and real flight trials, with two UAV developed by an ARCA P in a previous project._x000D__x000D_Consortium_x000D_Our consortium was identified using 3 criteria: (1) the commitment to the vision and to the objectives of the project; (2) the complementarity of the needed scientific and technical skills; (3) the minimization of competence overlapping._x000D_Special attention was devoted to a good balance between the Ps by including a research centre and three SME from three different countries:_x000D_- Deep Blue: is a SME operating in the doCO of Safety, Engineering, Human Factors and Validation in ATM and transportation._x000D_- ENEA Robotic Section: is a public research institution dedicated to research on autonomous robot, Intelligent Guidance and Control Systems for autonomous vehicles, Human Robot Interfaces, Telemanipulation and Supervisory._x000D_- Evolving Systems Consulting: Software and hardware producer, active in information, control & automation. Expertise in flight software development for satellite on-board instruments, Ground Segment software, UAV on-board control systems. _x000D_- ERZIA Space: is an engineering firm specialized in the design and production of advanced RF and wireless communication and test systems for the Aerospace Industry._x000D__x000D_

Acronym ARCA (Reference Number: 4649)
Duration 01/06/2009 - 30/11/2011
Project Topic We will develop an onboard flight system able to guide an Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle towards a specific destination, modifying its own flight trajectory in reaction to a variety of external situations, while COtaining the separation with other UAV or aircraft and optimizing its flight trajectory.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
There are the technical results delivered by ESC:_x000D_- the EPU board on which the ARCA algorithms run_x000D_- software library pack with low level routines_x000D_Both deliverable are accompanied by several descriptive documents.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente Partner Italy
4 Deep Blue S.r.l. Coordinator Italy
4 Evolving Systems Consulting s.r.o. Partner Czech Republic