The European Commission’s UAVNET group is to propose a series of high-profile civil unmanned air vehicle technology demonstrations as a stepping stone to the launch of major European civil UAV development and production programmes.

The proposed technology demonstrations are scoped as part of the European civil UAV roadmap. This is being jointly prepared by UAVNET and the European Commission-funded Civil UAVs Applications and Economic Effectivity of Potential Configurations (CAPECON) projects. Due to be released in July, the roadmap also proposes a pan-European civil UAV coordination body to oversee implementation and ensure workshare opportunities for all 25 EU member states.

Speaking at the 13th European Commission-funded UAVNET meeting in Eilat, Israel last month, UAVNET co-ordinator Mark Okrent said: “We believe that there will be a need to perform a number of demonstration projects to both prove to the users that these autonomous aircraft can do their tasks as well as or better than today’s modes as well as demonstrate concepts such as air traffic control integration or high-altitude long-endurance operation with fuel-cell or solar propulsion. It would be a combination of technology and application demonstrations.”

The roadmap targets the EC’s Seventh Framework research programme as a key source of potential implementation funding.

Source: Flight International