NAVISP Element 3
(Navigation Innovation and Support Programme)
itAlian Urban aiR mObility technologies & distRibuted test-fAcility
The term Urban Air Mobility (UAM) includes, all such new aeronautical applications encompassing: the future on-demand urban human air transportation (such as the so-called ‘air taxi’) and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) / Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) operations for goods delivery and Public Safety in urban, sub-urban and inter-city areas. Further, UAS operates in the urban areas for monitoring and surveillance missions. One of the key technology enablers of UAM implementation and services adoption is related to the availability of robust and resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) measurements.
In this context, the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology and its several advantages are threatened in dense urban environments, as they are characterized by severe multipath, high Dilution of Precision due to Urban Canyon, and remarkable electromagnetic threats. Moreover, there are currently no consolidated CONOPS (Condition of Operations) and technical standards for navigation and flight operations, that specifically apply to the UAMs.
Considering the institutional national interest related to UAM implementation, the AURORA project, as part of the “Creation of an Italian ecosystem for AAM (Advanced Air Mobility)” framework, coordinated and promoted by ENAC, try to fill the pre-identified gaps of providing effective and reliable PNT GNSS based service for the AAM in urban and intra-urban environment, and as such can be considered as part of the AAM national strategy. Finally, it is required to assess safety and security of urban manned and unmanned flight operations for what concerns PNT capabilities based on GNSS. This can be achieved, only through rigorous, precise and accurate flight test campaigns, realized in a segregated air space using a distributed test facility (e.g., exploiting Capua and Grottaglie airports) where safety services are available and test data are collected and processed, with secure and qualified procedures and algorithms.
AURORA’s project management is in charge 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 Apulian Aerospace Technology District, and the companies: D-Flight (ENAV group), Exprivia, Planetek Italia and Civitanavi Systems.