U-Space automated aviation sandbox project to be built in Tartu

The automated aviation systems team.
The automated aviation systems team. Source: Transport Administration

A concept for a sandbox for automated aviation systems is to be built in Tartu, Tartu City Government says.

This will be in line with requirements of the EU's aviation agency, the EASA, and its U-Space framework.

The Estonian Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) is developing the project together with aid from the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, while Tartu Science Park, the Estonian Aviation Academy and Estonian Air Navigation Services are are involved also.

Dubbed "Expertise for the development of an unmanned aviation (U-space) sandbox" funding is also being allocated from the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.

Üllar Salumäe, director of aviation at the Transport Administration, said: "It's important for the Estonian Transport Administration to ensure that all interested parties have access to modern and versatile infrastructure for testing and validating any necessary solutions for the development of various innovative technologies."

Terje Kaelep, of the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, said: "This is a cooperation project aiming to procure an innovative solution in need of further development, as there were no ready-made solutions on the market.

"For the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, this is not only an opportunity to contribute to the development of breakthrough technologies, but also the next step in the advancement of activities to support innovation sourcing. We decided to carry out the procurement ourselves instead of awarding a grant, and the result of the procurement will be handed over to the Estonian Transport Administration," Kaelep continued, via a Tartu City Government press release.

Founder and CEO of ANRA Technologies Amit Ganjoo said of the development that: "This sandbox is just the beginning of other activities that will help unlock the vast potential for the region and greater Europe by providing a location to conduct validation and verification activities for U-space stakeholders."

It is thought that the initiative will open up opportunities for the larger-scale development and deployment of unmanned aviation tech and its testing and innovation, with the long-term aim of creating an opportunity to create a sustainable development environment for current and future technologies.

ANRA Technologies were awarded the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency tender, and the contract was signed on April 21.

The results of the research undertaken by ANRA Technologies should be finalized by the end of September and will serve as the basis for the establishment of a sandbox in Tartu, where future U-space service providers and parties developing unmanned aviation technologies will be able to test and validate their services and solutions, it is reported.

The Transport Administration commenced work on a project aimed at developing an automated flights testing zone in Tartu earlier this year, to be used for evaluating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Tartu City Government

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