AURORA analysed the peculiar needs of the territories with a focus on the Italian scenarios, along with the opportunities offered by the new and alternative navigation technologies integrated space and ground networks and systems in the context of the UAM in order to define operational and performance requirements for UAM and consequently, propose a GNSS scalable architecture in support of UAM mission scenarios. Furthermore, design a UAM National Research & Development and Certification Distributed Facility so-called “UAM National Test Facility” as reference facility for new technology development and certification of related devices based on GNSS technologies for UAS.
Currently, the project successfully concluded the Final Review at ESA ESTEC passing through all review steps and laboratory and flight demonstration phases in the right time schedule. The identification of navigation requirements, the operational environment and related services and dedicated use cases able to support the definition and application of suitable navigation technical standards to the UAM allowed to design and develop building blocks for the UAM National Distributed Test Facility preparation. Laboratory and flight demonstration testing phases guaranteed the verification and validation of Aurora project.
With the Final Review, the first phase of Aurora project has been closed with the design, development, and prototyping of UAM National Distributed Test Facility (in its first stage) for UAS/RPAS navigations technologies development and assessment involving three nodes (CIRA lab, GATB facility and GLASS lab) and several capabilities for hardware in the loop, UAS/GNSS monitoring and radio frequency environmental monitoring. Now, next step is the starting of phase 2 of Aurora with the finalization of the national testing facility opened to European Stakeholders and acting as part of European ecosystem.
The availability of a Distribute National Test Bed is recognized to be strategic within the UAM development process and will be the national reference facility for new technology development and certification of devices based on GNSS technologies for UAS under the responsibility of ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, with the technical coordination of Telespazio, and the contribution of CIRA – the Italian Aerospace Research Center, DTA – the Aerospace technology district of Puglia region, and the companies: D-Flight (ENAV group), Exprivia, Planetek Italia and Civitanavi Systems.