The SESAR JU research project on urban air mobility GOF 2.0 was started in January 2021

In 2021-2022, CAFA Tech will participate in the drones innovation project “GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace Validation”. The project will develop and test technologies that will allow unmanned aircraft and conventional aircraft to fly in the common airspace. The project is funded by SESAR JU and is coordinated by Estonian Air Navigation Service AS. The members of the consortium are 13 companies: CAFA Tech, Dimetor, Droneradar, EHang, Fintraffic ANS, Frequentis, IBCh PAS PSNC, PANSA, Robots-Expert, Threod Systems, Unmanned Systems Ltd, Vaisala Oy.

During the GOF 2.0 project, tests of drone flights will be carried out in Tallinn(Estonia), Tartu(Estonia), Helsinki (Finland), Kakolewo (Poland) and Graz (Austria). The tests take place in urban conditions, where the main task is to allow both drones and manned aircraft to fly simultaneously in shared airspace (U-Space). Unmanned drones are very effective in many business areas: logistics, infrastructure inspection, agriculture, air taxis in urban conditions, etc. The project will develop the technologies needed beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to perform automated tasks for remote drones in various business areas.

CAFA Tech contributes with its core technologies:
1. 5G communication system for automated drone flights
2. Low latency (under 0.1 second) teleoperation system for drone remote control
3. Computer vision systems for safety analysis
4. 3D maps for planning ultra low level (under 40m AGL) routes in urban conditions.
The 1st round of field tests is planned to be conducted in September-October 2021.

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Building on the key learnings and results of this project, SESAR JU GOF 2.0 now intends to safely, securely, and sustainably demonstrate operational validity of serving combined unmanned aerial systems (UAS), electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL), and manned operations in a unified, dense urban airspace using existing ATM and U-space services and systems. Both ATM and U-space communities depend extensively on the provision of timely, relevant, accurate, and quality-assured digital information to collaborate and make informed decisions. The demonstrations will focus on the validation of the GOF 2.0 architecture for highly automated real-time separation assurance in dense airspace, including precision weather and telecom networks for air-ground communication. This will significantly contribute to understanding how the safe integration of UTM and other commercial drone operations into ATM airspace can be implemented without degrading safety, security, or disrupting current airspace operations.

GOF 2.0 is an important enabler for the further development of the drone market and will deliver the technical components (services, software, competencies, practices) required to cost-efficiently operate autonomous and semi-autonomous drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) in the shared airspace. This is made possible by repurposing already available ATM commercial off-the-shelf components and integrating the latest U-space technology. Furthermore, it will nurture acceptance of drones as part of the new mobility mix, including Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), all airspace users, regulatory authorities, and ultimately the flying public.

This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101017689