Promotor:Alain Muls
Funding:European Commission
Involved staff: Alain MULS, Silvio SEMANSKI,
Start date:01 Jan 2018
Duration:18 months
Research unit:Geodesy and GNSS


Mobile-Network Infrastructure for Cooperative Surveillance of low flying drones

The number of drones (commercial and recreational) is expected to grow significantly within the next years. Currently the most dynamic market is in low flying remotely piloted and autonomous aerial vehicles. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has recently published three different categories of such drones: an open category, a specific category and a certified category. The MoNIfly project (Mobile-Network Infrastructure for Cooperative Surveillance of low flying drones) targets the open and specific categories by proposing a surveillance and control system based on Mobile Network Infrastructure. The main challenge of the “open” category will be the acceptance of low flying devices by the society. Therefore innovative solutions must be found, developed and demonstrated to allow safe and society friendly as well as aviation-harmonized drone operations. The MoNIfly concept will enable geo-fencing applications which are based not only on static databases but with high-dynamic update rates and which can be applied to moving vehicles. This means that the risk of collisions of drones with static obstacles but also other drones or aircraft/helicopters will be minimized. Additionally this concept will allow protection of privacy areas like private houses/gardens or even accident or incident places. Another area of operation could be the TV market where during sport events the target of interest (e.g. downhill skier or car racer) would be protected by a fast moving geo-fenced area. The MoNIfly consortium consists of a Mobile Infrastructure provider (NSN), a drone operator and two universities with excellent background in current air traffic management and drone operations. The project aims to develop the beforehand described applications and will demonstrate the feasibility in a relevant environment. The goal is to enhance the TRL from 2 (technology concept formulated) to a TRL of 4 (technology validated in lab) or 5 (technology validated in relevant environment).