With the news we receive every day of the war in Ukraine, it is more than evident that Drones have reached a capital importance, at this point, I like to remember that in the military field Drones are weapons and that they fly mainly over the enemy and therefore the effectiveness of this as a weapon is above security as it is in the civilian world.
If we focus on the civil field, we will analyze what the main challenges are.
Main challenges in the civil field
As we told you in our previous blog, drones in the civil field have been a very demanding element in the last year.
Although at the moment it seems that we have the drones operational because of the multitude of videos we receive, delivering a package on the roof, or the spectacular images of drones putting out fires in a building, or rescuing castaways, but also falling on people in a demonstration. Something is missing for this to be an everyday element.
And everyone looks at the Certification authorities as responsible and therefore the regulations that should be applied to drones.
Obviously, the regulations are made based on existing technology and it is not only the drone itself but the entire set of communications and airspace control technologies.
New types of Infrastructures
Obviously airports are not a solution, if we need to distribute packages we need prepared logistics centers, adapt delivery points and most importantly how to reach them, we are in full development of smart cities (which are designed to solve the problems of terrestrial mobility) that will have to be generalized to integrate it in a non-invasive and sustainable way to the air traffic of drones with a successful and agile deployment of it.
If we think about larger vehicles such as future air taxis, the infrastructures on the ground will be the so-called vertiports, which, of course, will not only be an area with a mark on the ground that identifies it that allows takeoffs and landings, but also have to build hangars, passenger and cargo terminals, electric recharging areas if the trend of electric motors continues (we already know the difficulties for electric cars).
The drones will have to operate in areas where there will be other drones, but also the aircraft that are already in our airspace of the cities.
In numerous cities around the world, there is significant air traffic, especially if there are airports and emergency services near the city, which already the current legislation marks exclusion and operation zones.
- Traffic regulation
The solution is to regulate this traffic because if this development is wanted, it will be necessary to manage a growing number of both manned and unmanned flights, and with different capacities to be detected and detected among them, share their position, in addition to the fact that part of their flights the drones will be carried out between infrastructures within the cities that are not prepared for it.
We must remember that, at present, air traffic management is in the hands of air traffic controllers, and communication is between people, especially when it comes to airports.
- Traffic management digitally
The air traffic management of unmanned drones in cities will become digital. Although we are currently far from the levels that will be necessary. In Europe, the U-space is being developed that returns to the need to legislate by developing the regulations that allow UTM and ATM to speak the same language efficiently and safely.
If the predictions in the use of drones are fulfilled, it can lead to thousands of simultaneous operations in some cities. This volume of traffic can only be managed through the implementation of automatic air traffic management systems, not only to ensure the safety of both unmanned and manned operations.
If we enter the new challenges of using drones for the transfer of people. We enter a terrain where safety reaches the highest level, a failure can not only produce the destruction of the drone and possible damage to third parties but personal injury.)
We are seeing designs of possible aerotaxi drones that do not meet the minimum requirements of being resistant to a simple failure (a broken blade) can intercept the interior of the drone and cause serious damage to passengers.
Next, I leave you some news about the drone market in Europe and the development of air taxis as a new sustainable Urban Air Mobility (UMA) for this next year .
It is evident the ignorance of the existing regulations for manned aircraft, the large companies that dominate the regulations go to developments of vehicles such as multirotor helicopters with safety results equivalent to manned ones.
CENTUM Digital specialized in the certification of aeronautical equipment.
As we can see, the knowledge of the regulations and their application are the point to deal with if we want to develop safe and operational drones. Where the computerized systems for preparing certification documentation are a vehicle to achieve this.
At CENTUM Digital, we have been offering Critical Systems Engineering services in the most demanding environments for more than 15 years, in which we have a deep knowledge of regulations and their interpretation and application.