Through their 2011 Administrative Arrangement and active policy and programmatic coordination, the European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency (ESA), have today agreed to pursue their cooperation in the domain of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) with the signature of the DeSIRE II Project Arrangement.
This cooperation is the result of the successful DeSIRE I project carried out in 2012 and 2013, through which EDA and ESA demonstrated the use of satellites enabling the insertion of RPAS in Europe. This project effectively demonstrated that RPAS complemented by satellites can be safely inserted in non-segregated airspace and thus fulfil user needs in maritime surveillance services.
Following respective approval processes, EDA’s Chief Executive Claude-France Arnould and Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, have today concluded the signature of the next step of this cooperation. DeSIRE II will demonstrate that services, such as environment and maritime surveillance applications, can be rendered with RPAS flying beyond radio line of sight through the use of safe and secure satellite-based command and control data links.
This demonstration project will also seek to illustrate the benefits of the integration of space assets, such as communication satellites, navigation satellites and Earth observation satellites, with terrestrial infrastructure for enabling new services. It will further tackle the implementation of an initial set of elements for air traffic management and related safety issues in order to support the evolution of air traffic insertion regulations and standards.
DeSIRE II is expected to be a bridging phase towards more cooperation between ESA and EDA on RPAS applications and capability developments.