Skeldar
UMS Skeldar’s V-200 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

UMS Skeldar’s V-200 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform has been chosen by the European Detect And Avoid System (EUDAAS) consortium to assist in the development and validation of a European Detect And Avoid (DAA) solution which will allow large military Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in operate among European air traffic.

The DAA programme will run for three years from 2021 to 2023 and takes work and findings forward from the European Union’s previous Mid Air Collision Avoidance System (MIDCAS) programme which ran for five years from 2009 and involved five countries: Sweden (lead nation), France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Funding from a European Commission grant and the participating countries will provide over $36.5 million (€30 million).

These same five countries are now taking forward the EUDASS work to further develop DAA. Since the end of the MIDCAS programme the European Defence Agency established the RPAS Regulatory Framework Working Group in March 2014. Its objectives were to develop and harmonise airworthiness requirements, regulations and classification procedures.

Carl Foucard, head of sales at UMS Skeldar, said that the first Saab prototype sense and avoid system flew on the Skeldar V-200 UAV in 2019, and will be used to prove the sense and avoid technology as it develops through sensor-intruder type scenarios. Although being funded by defence and developed to let military UAVs use civilian airspace, it will be equally suitable for civilian UAVs. The project will work with civilian agencies such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and will contribute to standardisation within EUROCAE, the European developer of worldwide recognised industry standards for aviation.

“One of the biggest challenges is to get the rules and regulations in place as the technology is developed and applied to UAVs. There still needs to be decisions regarding how evasive manouvers will be performed, particularly in cases where the UAV loses its link to home base, stated Foucard.

The consortium consists of the following members: Saab (Sweden, coordinator); Centro Italiano Richerche Aerospaziali (CIRA – Italy); Diehl Defence (Germany); Deutches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (Germany); HensoldtSensors (Germany); Indra Sistemas (Spain), Leonardo (Italy); Safran Electronics & Defense (France); Thales Six GTS France SAS (France); Onera(France) and Eurocontrol (Belgium). Additional participants include Thales AVS SAS (France); and Airbus Defence and Space (Germany).

by Andrew Drwiega