C-Astral, a SESAR Joint Undertaking demonstrator project lead by Terra Drone-affiliated Unifly, is announcing its successful participation in the first practical SAFIR flight and integration tests at DronePort, Sint-Truiden, Belgium. SAFIR is a large-scale demonstration project aiming to showcase the economic viability of drone use in industrial environments.
As a member of SAFIR, C-Astral was tasked to take off and perform high-tension line mapping. During this process, the company was also made to perform deconflicting by rerouting the drone flight and alternatively choosing a safe place to hover until the geofencing area disappeared. Post that, the drone was to continue the high-tension line mapping.
During these operations, the radio communications were tested by the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT) and C-Astral obtained the permission to use the integrated communication links in the Belgian airspace.
Flight tests for the homologation of the C-Astral system by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority were performed as well. C-Astral’s software team also successfully tested the integration of command, communications, control, and planning software with the drone traffic management system developed by Unifly.
The SAFIR consortium, a group of 13 public and private organizations, aims to demonstrate integrated drone traffic management for a broad range of drone operations globally. The goal of the SAFIR project is to contribute to the EU regulatory process for drones and drive forward the deployment of interoperable, harmonized, and standardized drone services across Europe.
More about the project can be found here.