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Celestia Technologies Group joins European move for long-range drones

The ADACORSA Project vision. (Credit: ADACORSA)

The ADACORSA Project vision. (Credit: ADACORSA)

Celestia Technologies Group (CTG) is taking part in the ADACORSA project, a European initiative designed to unlock the potential of long-range and beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drones and give Europe a world-class drone industry.

ADACORSA — Airborne Data Collection on Resilient System Architecture — is a major collaborative project launched in May 2020 that aims to demonstrate the safety and efficiency of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in extended out-of-line-of-sight operation ranges.

Specifically, it draws on European expertise in developing sensor and communication technologies for UAVs to underpin their role and reliable capability in long-range applications, including observation, analysis and transport, taking them one step further toward being integrated into conventional airspace.

ADASCORA also seeks to increase public and regulatory acceptance of modern UAV or drone technology. More than 49 specialist companies from 12 European countries are expected to contribute know-how and practical support. The project also aims to research and develop innovative components and systems for airborne observation and detection, telecommunication and data processing along the electronics value-chain.

Task Forces Established

To meet ADACORSA’s ambitious targets, task forces have been set up, one of which will be led by CTG. The company will lead the development of electronic components for reliable and fail-operational environment perception and run one project demonstrator designed to integrate unmanned aircraft systems safely into the common European airspace and ensure that they operate correctly in a multi-unmanned aircraft system environment.

CTG is a Dutch supplier and part of a pan-European company group providing innovative technology products, systems and services to space, aerospace, defense, telecommunications and scientific markets.

Galileo + EGNOS Transponder

CTG will use its expertise in on-board UAV electronics to develop a lightweight, high-performance transponder capable of sending and receiving accurate identification and location data for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Positioning will be based on Galileo, supplemented by its European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), allowing all airspace users to know the location of the vehicle and contribute to safety while supporting other on-board systems such as detect-and-avoid equipment.

The transponder will be based on conventional aviation technologies such as Mode S Interrogator and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and will integrate new concepts including network identification, meaning the vehicle can fly safely in various scenarios. These include in locations close to airports, in drone fleet operations and within the U-Space environment. U-space is a set of European services and procedures designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for drones.

ADACORSA has received funding from the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No. 876019. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Romania, France, Sweden, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal, Italy, Finland and Turkey.

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