Could Civilian Unmanned Aircraft (CUA) herald the next major aerospace revolution? Ideally suited to doing jobs that are ‘dull, dangerous or dirty’, they could help safeguard the environment, critical national infrastructure, our security and quality of life without putting aircrews at risk and at lower cost than conventional aircraft and satellite systems.
ASTRAEA is the world’s leading CUA research programme. Initiated in 2006, its goal is to research and demonstrate how unmanned aircraft could safely fly in airspace shared with other civilian aircraft. It also addresses legislation, ethics and control alongside the engineering and technical aspects.
ASTRAEA is now at the point of demonstrating ‘proof of concept’ solutions to key challenges through a series of studies, models, simulated experiments and flight trials. These include technologies enabling unmanned aircraft to ‘detect and avoid’ potential collision hazards, one of the most critical considerations.
Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal, Project Director
Gary Clayton, Head of Research and Technology, EADS Cassidian
Dr Ruth Mallors, Director, Aerospace KTN
Chris Elliott, Pitchill Consulting Ltd