REALITY. RPAS EGNOS adoption and liaison with navigation integrity

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The goal of REALITY is to promote the use of EGNOS for safe drone operations, in the short term and in the context of the EU drone operations vision, the U-Space. For this, REALITY will map non-recreational drone application-specific requirements into navigation performance and safety requirements –i.e., into accuracy, availability, continuity & integrity– and analyse to what extent EGNOS-based drone navigation systems meet them.

REALITY is motivated by the urgent need to respond, from an EGNSS perspective, to the challenge of safely integrating hundreds of thousands of non-recreational drones in EU airspace, flying at the so-called Very Low Level (VLL) altitude –500 ft above ground-, and at same time, by the challenge of fully leveraging current EGNOS (specifically, its integrity service) for the specific RPAS needs. As seen in preliminary studies [Molina-2012], civil aviation standards e.g. APV-I are clearly too conservative, non-protective for RPAS VLL operations, yet EGNOS has potential to be fully unleashed by adapting its integrity performance.

To capture a wide spectrum of reasonably representative application-specific requirements, REALITY works upon four types of market- or social-relevant drone applications as project scenarios: (SC1) maritime surveillance, (SC2) support to fire fighting missions, (SC3) freight transport and (SC4) [urban] aerial mapping. Application-specific requirements will be analysed and flight rehearsals carried out in REALITY as a benchmark for EGNOS. An output of REALITY will be proposals for next generation Required Navigation Performance (RNP) specifications for RPAS missions tailored to these four representative applications. On the upstream, RNP specs for drone operations are relevant contributions to the evolution of EGNOS and of European and international GNSS willing to support RPAS markets, and on the downstream, they are also essential for the design of safe and cost-effective drone navigation systems. Another output of REALITY will be the analysis of the contribution of EGNOS and EGNSS to a new generation of RNP-compliant drone navigation systems. (typically including GNSS receivers, inertial units and possibly other sensors like magnetometers or barometric altimeters.) Such an holistic analysis is invaluable for the EU and for aviation regulatory bodies since such a reasoned account of contributions will back a new RNP specification, more stringent than RNP 0.3 and more appropriate for the use of EGNOS and EGNSS in drones, particularly at VLL.

GeoNumerics is a research and development (R&D) intensive small-and-medium-enterprise (SME) company specialised in geomatics and accurate navigation.

The European Global navigation Satellite system Agency (GSA) is a European Union (EU) agency that promotes the use, adoption, application and market development of European GNSS services and that these services and operations are thoroughly secure, safe and accessible.

Acronym: REALITY
Title: RPAS EGNOS adoption and liaison with navigation integrity.
Period: 2019-06-01 to 2021-05-31
Funding: European Commission (EC) - European GNSS Agency (GSA) within the framework program "EGNOS Adoption in Aviation"
Coordinator: GeoNumerics (ES)
Participants: Pildo Labs (ES), FADA-CATEC (ES), CATUAV (ES), EuroUSC Italia (IT), DEIMOS Engenharia (PT)

Related links: EGNOS Adoption in Aviation

GSA web:

REALITY web page:


This project has received funding from the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency within the call “EGNOS Adoption for Aviation” (GSA/GRANT/06/2017)  under Grant Agreement GSA/GRANT/06/2017-6.