ii. UAS Transport Environment
The Provision of Drone Delivery Service is based on technical and operational concept elements from which U-space usage and flying rules are mandatory according to the European Regulations and dependent on the specific local needs. Under technical enablers, mostly UAS operations related enablers are being covered, as those are novel and only now entering into force.
- UTM System and Central Information Service
A Logistic System is the core of the Drone Delivery System. Such systems to operate with the UAs will have direct connection with the Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) system. It will provide the UTM system with logistical and navigational data and shall get back restrictions, limitations, and interfering air traffic data. UTM is a “traffic management” ecosystem for uncontrolled operations that is separate from, but complementary to, the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.
Central Information Service (CIS) will provide U-Space users with data needed for successful execution of flight operations in U-Space.
U-Space is dedicated airspace from ground to the height up to 120 m with procedures and “a set of services designed to support safe, efficient and secure access to airspace for large numbers of UAs”. These services and procedures rely on a high level of digitisation and automation of functions, whether they are on board the UA itself, or are part of the ground-based environment.
U-space provides an enabling framework to support routine UA operations, as well as a clear and effective interface to manned aviation, ATM/Air Navigation service providers and aviation authorities.
The U-space concept will have different services according to the U-space European blueprint framework to be implemented. For commercial operations, the services according to U1 and U2 levels will be required. On later execution of this project, U3 and U4 services are needed.
UAs will use three different positioning systems: Global Positioning System (GPS), 5G and 4G positioning. For altitude both, barometric measurement and GPS shall be used. Different navigation performance is needed according to the complexity of area and population density. In open areas GPS based navigation will be used. Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) was initially anticipated, but this solution may not be able to handle the number of messages the UAS fleet will create and probably will be used in low power mode (light ADS-B) with ADS-B In and Out functions to free airspace for manned flights and heavier traffic, which already should fly optimal routes from cost efficiency point of view.
Air-Ground (A-G) Communication for three different purposes are needed:
1. Delivering of UA position report messages.
2. UAS operator’s tool for assessing flying UA technical status and working conditions.
3. Delivery and presentation of video streams received from UA.
For Air-Air (A-A) Communications ADS-B In and Out will be used to keep other airspace users aware of UA and to be able to free the airspace for more prioritised traffic. Identification, position, altitude, and velocity shall be reported to other airspace users and to UTM and ATC service providers.
Surveillance function is needed to monitor the UA location and surrounding activities. Location information will be based on GPS, but for higher precision for Urban Operations and for operating between buildings and populated areas shall be used also 5G positioning.
For surveillance purposes specific transponders will be used whose functionalities will be determined by UTM service providers. The Transponder supports GPS positioning, 2,4 GHz Radio Frequency, ADS-B on 1090 MHz.