The use of unmanned aircraft requires appropriate regulation and airspace management. To address these issues, the European Union has put in place a regulatory framework to facilitate airspace management, U-space.
What is U-Space?
U-Space services are responsible for the regulation and management of airspace with a high level of automation and digitalisation. It should be noted that U-space services only deal with low-level air traffic management, i.e. up to 120 m in height. They provide information on the available airspace, the safety of drone operation and air traffic management, to enable safe and efficient use of drones. But also the respect of the environment and the protection of privacy. One of the main objectives of U-Space services is to ensure that drones do not disrupt existing air traffic.
The U-Space services offered to drone operators :
- Network Identification which provides operator and UAS identity and geolocation, and dissemination of operations information to share relevant information with other airspace users
- Geo-vigilance, which informs UAS operators of the operating conditions to be applied in U-space and related constraints, made available as part of the common information services.
- UAS Authorisation to Fly, which provides operators with authorisations to fly according to the areas of operation and the constraints of U-space. This service also provides for the revision and/or suspension of the clearance according to the evolution conditions.
- Traffic information, which gives the operator all the information about the air traffic that might be in the vicinity of the planned UAS flight position. And that he can implement the necessary measures to avoid a collision.
Two other services can be offered, depending on the airspace risk assessment, and can be suggested at the initiative of the U-space Service Providers (USSP).
- Meteorological information that is put in place to allow operators to facilitate the planning and execution phases of the flight
- Compliance monitoring, which is used to check whether UAS operators comply with the conditions for authorisation to fly. It also alerts the UAS operator if there is a compliance issue.
U-Space service providers are companies or organisations that provide U-Space related services. Such as traffic control, flight planning, activity monitoring, etc. There are many U-space service providers to help manage drone traffic. For example, there are several companies that have decided to join the European U-space network, such as U-Space Keeper or AirSpace Drone.
It is interesting to note that the above-mentioned software allows the U-Space to be shared so that it can be managed more easily. Our GestaDRONE software is a universal tool that can interconnect with these different platforms in a transverse manner, i.e. it is linked with all the players to manage the procedures with the competent authorities issuing flight authorisations.
If you are interested in this subject, please note that additional articles will be available shortly to follow up this introduction.