The TRACE project by Alter Technology has undertaken its first successful demonstration at the Atlas experimental flight centre in Villacarrillo, Spain.
The flight centre is an aerodrome equipped for carrying out flight tests with unmanned aircraft systems such as RPAS and drones.
TRACE is designed to promote and foster the use of EGNOS in the drone sector.
It has achieved this by developing a smart beacon that will increase the safety levels of very low level (VLL) operations, supporting the development of this new aviation sector.
The first drone equipped within the TRACE project has been tested bearing an EGNOS-enabled beacon that allows the identification of the aircraft while guaranteeing accurate, robust positioning and improving separation.
Using enhanced signals coming from EGNOS, the EU’s regional satellite-based augmentation system, TRACE supports the safe and effective integration of drones into U-space by providing essential services like e-registration, e-identification and pre-tactical geofencing among others.
The smart beacon, which allows for the remote identification of drones flying at a very low altitude, will enable safer integration of drones into airspace through the use of U-space, making it easier for traditional aviation pilots to know the position of drones more accurately.
The smart beacon will also enable better traffic separation when integrated with U-Space services, thanks to EGNOS.
TRACE project is led by Alter Technology, and is a result of collaboration among renowned European companies such as Unifly, Pildo Labs and Fada-Catec.