EDA RECENTLY announced it had carried out DeSIRE (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe) demonstration flights at San Javier in Spain on April 24, 2013. The DeSIRE project is a joint ESA-EDA initiative carried out by an international consortium led by Indra.
It is aimed at demonstrating the safe insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace using satellites capabilities for RPAS command and control, ATC communications and mission data transfer to ground, in order to satisfy the needs of potential user communities.
The demonstration test flights were carried out in Spain using an Israeli registered Heron 1 RPAS (shown in first image) that provided airborne maritime surveillance services to spanish users involved in the project.
The European Space Agency is linked to the EDA work on UAS Air Traffic Insertion in the area of Satellite UAS data relay connections. The main drivers of UAS operations are reduced costs, improved safety, and more sustained/persistent surveillance. In this context, satellite communications and satellite navigation can provide a flexible infrastructure for UAS operations and even multi-mission capability.
EDA and ESA joined forces in 2009 to demonstrate that technological challenges in Command and Control/Air Traffic Control can be overcome through the use of satellite services. This initiative resulted in two contracts for feasibility studies on Satellite Services for the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into European Airspace. Contents of both studies’ requirements have been coordinated and both sides will be kept abreast of progress and results. The contracts of these EDA-EAS coordinated studies were signed by both Agencies during the EDA Annual Conference in February 2010 in Brussels.
The project is aimed at answering user needs on the insertion of RPAS into non-segregated airspace and is an initial demonstration of how space assets can complement the RPAS during airborne sorties.
The project has carried out a number of RPAS-based missions, using space assets (SatCom, SatNav), integrated in non-segregated airspace (for some parts of the flights), and providing airborne surveillance services in a maritime surveillance scenario. Final results are expected in July 2013.
As viewed by the infra red camera