Sesar 3 ATM Partnership Includes Urban Air Mobility

Sesar 3’s €350 million in research projects are intended to advance plans for the digital European sky.

Credit: Sesar 3 Joint Undertaking

Europe’s Sesar 3 public-private partnership for research into air traffic management (ATM) has included urban air mobility (UAM) among 48 projects receiving €350 million ($373 million) in government and industry funding under the framework of its Digital European Sky program.

Two of the projects will focus on assessing the impact on society of large-scale drone operations in urban areas. A third project will use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate uncrewed traffic management, called U-space services in Europe, to enable drone operations at scale.

Spain’s Nommon Solutions and Technologies has received almost €1 million to develop performance indicators and tools to assess the impact of UAM operations on the quality of life in European cities, with a focus on noise and visual pollution. The project will develop a tool set capable of generating drone 4D trajectories, modeling noise and visual footprints and mapping populations to calculate exposure indicators by day and time, sociodemographic profile and type of activity being performed.

ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon has also received almost €1 million to develop an impact and capacity assessment framework for U-space societal acceptance. Addressing factors that influence public opinion, such as environment, safety and socioeconomics, this tool set will be used to help local authorities and other U-space stakeholders with implementation of socially acceptable and beneficial UAM in cities.

The University of South-Eastern Norway has been awarded almost €2 million for a project to incorporate AI-based tools into managing U-space airspace. “The proposed framework will represent a digital step change in ATM, using AI as a means to move to more automated U-space services,” the Sesar 3 Joint Undertaking says.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.