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SUGUS kicks off, a European project for integrating drones into the airspace

By Eric Van Rees - 30th March 2020 - 08:04

GMV has been awarded the SUGUS project (Solution for E-GNSS UâSpace Service), which aims to speed up the takeup of GNSS and Galileo in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) segment. SUGUS, an 18-month, 485,000-euro, European Union R&D project, is to be carried out by a GMV-led consortium involving also Everis Aerospace, Defense and Security, VVA Brussels, ESSP, FADA-CATEC and Unifly.

SUGUS will help to develop services geared towards the effective integration of drones in the airspace. A series of trials will be held to show the benefits of E-GNSS for drone operators as well as its approval by aviation authorities.

The demand for UAV services is steadily increasing, with the potential to generate significant economic growth, as recognized in the 2015 European Union Aviation Strategy. More recently, the 2016 SESAR (Single European Sky ATM1 Research) Drones Outlook Study estimated that the European drone market will clock up 10 billion euros a year by 2035 and over 15 billion euros annually by 2050.

U-Space is a set of new airspace-management services and procedures designed to ensure unmanned aircraft’s airspace access while looking out for operational security, the right to privacy and the safety of persons and infrastructure. These services rely on a high level of digitization and function automation, whether onboard the drone itself or part of the ground-based environment.

Several initiatives are now underway at European level to develop U-Space and work towards the safe and efficient coexistence of manned and unmanned air traffic. At the same time the new European legislation on operating unmanned systems has now come into force, providing a uniform, Europe-wide framework.

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