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The Workshop on the future development of autonomous and remotely-piloted aircraft held at CIRA<img alt="" src="" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> Workshop on the future development of autonomous and remotely-piloted aircraft held at CIRAThe Workshop on the future development of autonomous and remotely-piloted aircraft held at CIRA<p style="text-align:justify;">The technological objectives associated with the development of the flight of autonomous and remotely-piloted aircraft, the integration of drones in civil airspace as well as the relative methods of use in the several types of mission were the main topics at the "RPAS Flagship Programme" Workshop held on 12th June at CIRA with the participation of all the major stakeholders from the national industrial, scientific and institutional world.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The programme presented is one of the flagship programmes of the PRORA (National Aerospace Research Programme) update proposed by CIRA, and its technical-scientific contents have been approved by the Committee of Experts appointed by the MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The intention of this second workshop organised by CIRA on the PRORA Flagship programmes is to pursue the strategy already undertaken in order to achieve a greater integration of PRORA with the needs of the Major national Industries and SMEs, and together with the capacities of the scientific sector, to therefore reinforce the synergies of the national Research and Technological Development supply chain in favour of some of the products of interest " stated the CIRA President, Mr Paolo Annunziato in his initial speech.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The main elements of the RPAS (Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Systems) programme were presented by Mr Pier Paolo de Matteis, the CIRA work group co-ordinator in charge of the preparatory phase of the programme, that will be completed with the definition of the requirements and implementation projects.  During the presentation, the technological challenges that will have to be faced over the forthcoming decade were illustrated, in view of the high growth trend foreseen between now and 2050 with regards to the use of drones, not only in a military context, but also in governmental and commercial environments, as shown in both the European Outlook Drone Study document and the European Medium-Long Term Roadmap concerning the safe integration of drones in the civil aviation system, produced within the context of the SESAR 2020 programme. In fact, there are several fields of application and they range between critical infrastructure monitoring, Homeland Security, the research and rescue operations, from precision agriculture as well as environmental and cultural heritage monitoring, to the construction industry or to the transport of goods and logistics. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The technological objectives to be achieved mainly concern the development of new systems and procedures relating to the integration of drones in air traffic and for UAS traffic management purposes in low-altitude operations and the development of technologies, first of all those relating to Collision-Avoidance Systems (Detect and Avoid), as well as Beyond the Visual Line of Sight (BRVLOS) communication systems capable of ensuring, on the one hand, high levels of safety and reliability, while on the other hand, operational simplicity, cost-effectiveness, ease of use and the autonomy to carry out complex missions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Other important technological challenges refer to the extension of capacity utilisation of drones through the increase in their persistence in missions as well as the system autonomy, the development and integration of innovative sensors both for navigation purposes and to collect various kinds of information depending on the type of mission carried out, together with the use of swarms of autonomous aircraft or various kinds of interoperable platforms.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The plan foresees the achievement of ambitious programme-related objectives divided into two separate stages covering a 10-year timeframe and that will lead to the evolutionary development and the validation of enabling technologies, the establishment, upon CIRA premises, of flying laboratories, of a basic indoor testing facility with mini and micro UAS as well as an entirely delimited, shielded outdoor arena. Moreover, the programme focuses on the demonstration of an innovative system concept, based on the combined use of large/medium-sized aircraft with endurance, intervention speed, flight performance and load capacity (Carrier) for the transport and remote management of mini or micro drones for specific operations deployed in the operative scenario.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Throughout the day, ample space was dedicated to debate and discussion sessions held with institutional stakeholders (ARMAERO, the Italian Air Force General Staff, the Carabinieri (Italian military police force), ENAV, ENAC, Leonardo, Piaggio Aerospace and certain SMEs belonging to the mini and micro segment) to collect and include also the needs and requirements expressed by these. This was a discussion that has given us positive initial feedback relating to the compliance of the topics proposed in the programme with the interests of the national supply chain and the development priorities, both for the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) segment for strategic national applications that involve the major industrial stakeholders of the Country, and of the mini and micro segment, encompassing a wide-ranging and diversified supply chain as regards the applications. Moreover, a substantial amount of significant information has emerged from the work sessions: the development of legislation has been carried out, hand in hand with the development of new technologies, the development of products characterised by such high levels of reliability that it is possible to implement such regardless of the type of mission, the development of high-performing innovative payloads (sensors) as well as the low impact integration of CIRA simulation infrastructures with those available upon the premises of other bodies with the aim of increasing the national capacities both in terms of validation and of training.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">June 14th, 2018<br></p><p><br></p>2018-06-13T22:00:00Z

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