Dronehub has carried out a series of test flights designed to help accelerate the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) over cities. The flights were conducted in Rzeszów, Poland within the framework of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, an EU public-private partnership that coordinates all air traffic management research and innovation activities.
Dronehub was supported by Honeywell, which develops equipment and sensors for drones, and Altitude Angel, a developer of UTM (unmanned traffic management) software. These companies are part of the Uspace4UAM consortium, which supports drone flights in urban conditions in four European countries: Poland, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, and Spain. The project aims to enable the safe integration of urban air mobility, including flights with autonomous drones, in the airspace of the European Union.
By mid-2022, Dronehub will have carried out approximately 160 flights over the Aviation Valley near Rzeszów, where the company’s headquarters is located. The flights will mimic three different uses of autonomous drones in public service applications: providing emergency services with aerial monitoring of accident sites; capturing ortho- and photogrammetric photos for the needs of public institutions; and transporting AED defibrillators in life-threatening situations.
As part of the Urban Air Mobility project, flight safety requirements will be developed, as well as regulations and standardizations to support the development of drone flights in urban space in the EU. The project aims to showcase how autonomous drones can be used in cities to improve safety and help security services to manage emergency situations.
Vadym Melnyk, founder and CEO of Dronehub, commented: “It is a big thing that Poland adds not a small brick, but a whole pillar to the construction of urban air mobility throughout the European Union. Based on the results of, inter alia, our flights over Rzeszów, guidelines for drone flights will be developed, as drones in the near future will become a common sight over the European cities. So we feel a great responsibility, but also an honour, that the first demo flights are starting here in Rzeszów, Poland.”
Jakub Węglarz, project manager at Dronehub, noted: “Dronehub demos within Uspace4UAM started in November 2021, and we will end in June 2022. During this time, amongst other objectives, we will check how drones react to different and rapidly changing weather conditions. Thanks to these 160 flights we plan to carry out, we will be able to adjust both hardware and software to the real city conditions and to the needs of public services. Our conclusions and recommendations will be used to help smooth Urban Air mobility deployment in Europe.”