Urban Air Mobility (UAM) refers to the system enabling on-demand, highly automated, passenger or cargo-carrying air transportation services at urban, per-urban and inter-urban environment usually in a low altitude airspace. Currently, the most mature UAM applications involve drones for short-range surveillance or package delivery and to date, technological research is now concentrated to enable the integration of drones into air traffic composed of other means of air transport and gradually integrate them into the existing urban airspace itself. In this regard, UAM will be considered as a system for urban, per-urban and inter-urban passenger and freight air transport, with vehicles ranging from small drones to passenger aircraft. UAM could also be used for public safety, medical and rescue evacuations, news gathering, ground traffic assessment, weather monitoring, parcel delivery and other similar services.
In this context, moreover, the use of space technologies for the development and growth of new aviation services and Urban Air Mobility can bring additional capacities and great benefits to European cities and citizens who will use these Urban Air Mobility services. The feasibility study “Space for Urban Air Mobility”, commissioned by the European Space Agency – ESA is part of a larger programmatic line “ARTES 4.0 Generic Program Line Business Applications – Space Solutions (BASS)” and aims to identify and analyze the technical and economic feasibility of services using Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and space services such as SATNAV, SATEO, SATCOM and other space (e.g. METEOSAT) and ground services (e.g. 5G network or AI applications) in support of UAM. The study also aims to develop a mock-up where the services and solutions analyzed during this study could be demonstrated.
The study, conducted by the DTA in collaboration with d-flight, Arthur D. Little and g-nous, is structured into four tasks with the release of technical reports describing the results obtained.
The U-space2 project also aims to develop an “Advanced and Specialized Traffic Information Service (A / S-TIS)” capable of exploiting the space services SATNAV, SATEO, SATCOM and other services such as METEOSAT and which meets the regulatory requirements of the EU by providing information and added value on air traffic to the various UAM stakeholders, primarily the stakeholders of urban mobility (Municipalities, Local Police, developers of smart city solutions,…).
- Task 1 – User requirement definition: involve within the study UAM users and interested parties with the aim of collecting the information necessary for the use of UAM and space services, analysing needs, evaluating problems and defining user requirements useful for the development of the A / S-TIS application
- Task 2 – Services and system architecture definition: definition of the characteristics of the selected services and system architecture that meet user requirements. The role and added value of space services (SATNAV, SATEO, SATCOM, AIREON, METEOSAT), as well as ground services to understand their impact on the quality of U-space service. Preparation of a mock-up to demonstrate the feasibility of the results
- Task 3 – Economic and non-economic viability analysis: viability analysis of the considered service(s) addressing both the economic and non-economic aspects linked to the introduction and operations of these services
- Task 4 – Conclusions and recommendations: the main activities to be carried out are related to the consolidation of the technical and economic feasibility, to the consolidation of users involvement in the demonstration project and to establish a roadmap for the formal implementation of the demonstration project
This study aims to identify and analyze the technical and economic feasibility of services that use Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and space resources SATNAV, SATEO, SATCOM and other services such as METEOSAT. The study also aims to develop a mock-up where the services and solutions analyzed during this study could be demonstrated.
The study will pave the way about using space technologies for the development and growth of new aviation services and Urban Air Mobility with the aim of bringing additional capacities and great benefits to European cities and citizens who will use these services of Urban Air Mobility. Through this study, we will also proceed to the development of an “Advanced and Specialized Traffic Information Service (A / S-TIS)” able to exploit the space services SATNAV, SATEO, SATCOM and other services such as METEOSAT meeting the EU regulatory requirements by providing information and added value on air traffic to the various UAM stakeholders. Space services integrated with ground technologies will provide safe and secure UAM solutions with positive implications in terms of awareness for what concern integrated space.
Project manager: Antonio Zilli, Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale Scarl
Total cost: 200.000 €
Start and end date: 10/2021 – 10/2022 (The duration of the study shall not exceed 12 months)
More info: Antonio Zilli, firstname.lastname@example.org, Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale Scarl
Partners: Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale, d-Flight, Arthur D. Little, g-nous