Research and advanced projects

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.

MULTITETHER. Multiple ground-steered, virtually-tethered UAVs for corridor mapping

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MultiTether aims at enhancing mapKITE, the total 3D mapping concept based on a tandem UAV-plus-car in which the UAV follow the car by a virtual (waypoint-based) tether, with the capability of including multiple aerial nodes (i.e. UAVs) that cooperate in-flight for corridor mapping missions. This project will therefore research and rehearse on a novel aerial mapping paradigm.

The goals of MultiTether are the following:

  1. to build a demonstrator based on an extended mapKITE system i.e. double-UAV and a steering ground vehicle, to execute mission with different in-flight geometries for aerial image acquisition, depending on the particularities of the corridor segment being explored,
  2. to proof such configuration as a valid option within the mapKITE paradigm, that is, assessing the ability to provide high-accuracy, total-point-of-view 3D geodata as in a regular mapKITE one,
  3. to contribute to the RAWFIE ecosystem with a means to execute mapKITE-like operations (virtually tethered multiple UAVs), and
  4. to promote the contribution of RAWFIE as a supporter of real-world mapping applications for UAVs.

HYCOS. Hybrid Coastal Monitoring

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HYCOS is an H2020 project funded by the NEPTUNE Accelerator project. Standing for "New Cross Sectoral Value Chains Creation across Europe Facilitated By Clusters for SMEs’ Innovation in Blue Growth", NEPTUNE supports the development of new cross-sectoral and cross-border industrial value-chains mixing Water, Aerospace, ICT and Agriculture technologies, through a direct support scheme to SMEs. NEPTUNE is an innovation action project supported by the European Commission and its HORIZON 2020 programme under the call for proposal INNOSUP-1-2015.

The goal of HYCOS is to establish a service for monitoring, accurately and frequently, the evolution of the coastline based on a cross-sectorial approach: the combination of free satellite imagery data with topographic LiDAR surveys with Mobile Mapping Systems (MMS) and drone-based aerial photogrammetry. These three mapping techniques are versatile (available satellites, MMS mounted on quad, and easy-to-operate drones) and together they enable surveys to be carried out at least twice a year in order to analyse physical phenomenon related to seasonal changes as well as the impacts of sporadic, high-intensity storms. The proposed multi-resolution imaging approach will produce accurate 3D geo-spatial data of the monitored coast, at a high resolution (drone imagery reaches millimetre-level ground resolution), high density (LiDAR reach around one million of measurements per second) and with large coverage (satellite imagery covers hundreds of kilometers of terrain footprint per image).

M2M. mapKITE to market

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M2M is an H2020 project funded by the European Commission, through the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) on the specific call  'SMEInst-04-2016-2017' under the grant agreement number 762692.

The goal of M2M ("mapKITE to market") is to conduct a market analysis to introduce mapKITE into the market. MapKITE is a new mobile tandem, terrestrial and aerial, geodata acquisition and orientation/calibration system and method that combines an aerial unmanned (drone) and a land mobile mapping system. In a mapKITE mission, the mapping drone follows the mapping land vehicle by means of a stream of waypoints generated in the vehicle and transmitted to the drone. The land vehicle carries metric targets to materialize accurate kinematic ground control points. In the mission, inertial, GNSS, odometric and imaging data are recorded. In post-processing, these data are combined in a new way for accurate georeferencing purposes.