The ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation & Assessment) programme aims to enable the routine operation of Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in civil airspace for commercial purposes. UAS challenge the key regulatory assumptions that have existed for the last century by removing the pilot from the aircraft, operating the aircraft autonomously and moving the human supervision to the ground. The ASTRAEA hypothesis is that this challenge can only be satisfied by innovation in key technology areas of sense and avoid, autonomy, communications, operations and human/system interaction.
A fundamental requirement of the programme is to ensure that UAS can be integrated into the existing manned aviation environment in an equivalent, safe and transparent fashion. This will require a level of autonomy beyond that required by today’s military systems and will bring with it issues of legality, security and safety, which will have to be addressed.
The ASTRAEA programme has taken a systems approach to addressing the challenge of introducing UAS into all classes of non-segregated airspace. By the end of the programme, the technology projects will have matured sub-system understanding and undertaken appropriate real time demonstrations. The overall system will have been critically tested through a Virtual Certification process. The remaining challenge will be to integrate the sub-systems and undertake full scale demonstrations in a representative environment to build confidence with the regulators, potential operators and the public at large.
The technologies developed under ASTRAEA will also find application in manned aircraft, potentially enabling single crew operation of large aircraft, and in other domains.
This year’s conference will take place at the America Square Conference Centre, 1 America Square, 17 Crosswall, London EC3N 2LB on 20th and 21st November 2012. It is designed to share the learning achieved through the programme. It will focus on the four key themes of Communications, Security & Spectrum; Autonomy & Decision Making; Ground Operations & Human Systems Interaction and Detect & Avoid. Significant time will be spent on each with the opportunity to ask questions within each theme session, in addition to a general forum.
Additionally, plenty of the project partners’ staff will be on hand to discuss experiences in more detail in a less formal environment around extended meal and break times. The amount of knowledge available for sharing has caused the conference to take place over two days. Attendance will be free so early booking is recommended.
To learn more about ASTRAEA National Conference 2012, to register to attend or exhibit, please click below.