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SESAR 3 JU Urban Air Mobility and U-space very large demonstration research project GOF 2.0 next wave of drone test flights kick off in Helsinki

Published on 14.6.2022

Last edited on 17.6.2022

After one year of intense preparation work and live trials in 2021, the next wave of live demonstrations of GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace VLD will start in Helsinki, Finland, on 14 of June, continue in Austria, Estonia and ending in October 2022 in Poland.

During the trials, GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace VLD will use the expertise of 15 scientific and commercial partners from the drone and aviation industry to demonstrate the operational validity of serving unmanned aerial systems and manned operations safely, securely, and sustainably in a unified, dense urban airspace using existing air traffic management and U-space services and systems. 

Unmanned operations and drones have already had a big impact in several fields and they will help us both to meet the future mobility needs and fight the climate change by substantially reducing carbon emissions from commercial, industrial, and urban transportation. Implementing U-space will support achieving this and GOF2.0 is showing the way,” said Maria Tamm.

For Urban Air Mobility to become a sustainable transportation system it must be integrated with other transportation infrastructure, such as airports, harbors, train/bus terminals, as well as logistics centers. The ability of logistics drones to form a seamless transportation chain in and out of airports is therefore of utmost importance.

The first trials of GOF 2.0 second wave will take place in Finland, Helsinki on 14th of June, followed by cross-border operations in U-space with manned and un-manned aircraft on 15th June. The cross-border test flights will take off from Helsinki, Finland and end in Tallinn, Estonia. 

“The first wave of GOF 2.0 trials validated the functionality of the interconnectivity of all linked systems as-is and enabled collection of initial performance and operational data for various scenarios. In the second wave, the full functionality of the GOF 2.0 solution, including dynamic tactical U-space services and elements of surprise to the aircraft operators will be tested,” explained Jonas Stjernberg, SVP and Partner at Robots Expert. “As a result, we will stress-test the resilience and performance of the actors and systems to operate in an integrated, airspace. In addition, we will demonstrate how precision weather and ground-to-air connectivity can enable more complex operations in U-space.”

According to Maria Tamm, GOF2.0 project coordinator from Estonian Air Navigation Services, the cross-border trial (Helsinki-Tallinn) will investigate how operation plans for transnational flights, that are submitted by both manned and unmanned aircraft operators, are approved or rejected separately for the segments in each country. “Next to that we need to get the know-how and information on how surveillance information is shared to ensure situation awareness for the systems and safety coordinators throughout all flights and how aircraft operators are served pre-, in- and post-flight by the demonstrated U-space services,” explained Maria Tamm. 

The key lessons of GOF 2.0 project will be an important enabler for the further development of the drone market and will deliver the technical components (services, software, competencies, practices) required to cost-efficiently operate autonomous and semi-autonomous drones beyond visual line of sight in integrated, airspace.

GOF 2.0 is managed by the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking in an effort to deliver solutions for U-space, the European Commission’s initiative on the safe and secure integration of drones in European airspace.

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