What are the European RPAS-related projects that have received public funding and what is their status?
There are already some two million Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), ranging from small "toys" to large military vehicles, in use throughout the world, compared with around 200,000 manned aircraft. The safety of these manned aircraft is the over-riding concern of Air-Traffic Management (ATM). There are many operational and technical challenges to be overcome before the safe integration of these RPAS into the European aviation system is possible.
The European RPAS Steering Group, set up by the Commission, has published a roadmap for RPAS-ATM integration that identifies all of the issues to be resolved and provides a stepwise approach to addressing them. These issues are detailed in three annexes covering: a regulatory approach; a strategic research plan; and a study of societal impact.
In support of its efforts to ease this integration, EUROCONTROL has produced a dashboard to show the RPAS industry's progress along the research part of this roadmap. The dashboard provides details of all European RPAS-related projects that have received public funding. It includes the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) achieved and the types of output produced, together with a list of partners involved and their states, funding organisations and amounts, and the activities these projects covered.
So far, nearly 80 projects have been counted, totalling some €450 million of funding. Partners in these projects have come from nearly every EU state and several non-EU ones.
To find out what these projects are, have a look at the RPAS ATM Integration R&D Roadmap Dashboard.