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  • 2021 July 16 14:31

    First drone traffic system is being tested at the Port of Hamburg

    Droniq GmbH, Germany's leading company for the integration of drones into airspace, and its parent company DFS, the German air navigation service provider, are putting the idea into practice for the first time – from conception to commissioning. To this end, they are setting up a U-Space Sandbox in the Port of Hamburg, Germany’s largest seaport by volume, according to the company's release.

    The project has a volume of approximately one million euro and is being funded partly by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). By doing so, the BMVI is setting the foundations for the implementation of further U-Spaces in Germany and promoting the further development of the local drone market.

    Drones are increasingly being used commercially, from inspecting construction sites to surveying posssible routes for piplines and roads. Drone flights will need to be easy to conduct and feasible at short notice. The reality is different, however, and drone flights are not always feasible, especially in areas with a high volume of drones. This is due to lengthy flight approval processes.

    U-Space, a spatially delimited airspace element, is intended to solve these challenges. In U-Space, special rules and procedures coordinate drone traffic. Drone flights can be carried out quickly, safely and without a long approval process – even beyond the pilot's line of sight.

    The basis for U-Space is formed by requirements laid down by EASA. These partly determine its technical and procedural design. They also define the necessary actors and tasks for its organisation. Drone traffic in U-Space is coordinated by a U-Space Service Provider (USSP). This is the contact person for drone pilots. This task is taken on by Droniq as part of the Real Laboratory. It issues flight permits for the drone missions and informs ilots about the current manned and unmanned air traffic as well as any airspace restrictions. To do this, Droniq uses the first fully operational traffic management system for drones (UTM) in Germany, which it distributes and which was developed by DFS.

    The second central role is fulfilled by DFS. As the Single Common Information Service Provider (SCISP), it supplies Droniq with all relevant airspace and air traffic data for the provision of U-Space services. Furthermore, with the manned aviation data, all air traffic, manned and unmanned, can be displayed in a combined air situation picture. This is an essential prerequisite for flights beyond the visual range of pilots – and thus for the efficient use of drones.

    In the fourth quarter, Droniq and DFS will demonstrate how a U-Space can function during the Flight Weeks. Prior to this, the conception, development and internal testing of the U-Space Sandbox will take place. The implementation of the U-Space Sandbox is being carried out with several project partners. These include the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), HHLA Sky GmbH, the Hamburg Ministry of Economics and Innovation, Hamburg Aviation and the project consortium UDVeo.





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