Drones and UTM Research Chair

The successor to the “Drone Systems” Chair created in 2015, the “ENAC-Airbus-Sopra Steria Drones & UTM Chair”, launched in 2023, will focus its work on topics related to UTM (“Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management”). In addition to integrating drones and their new services into existing systems, it aims to address the issue of their social acceptability. To achieve this, it addresses technical issues such as the ATM/UTM interface, tactical deconfliction and Artificial Intelligence, as well as regulatory issues such as system certification and standardization. Its work is intended to lay the foundations for the effective integration of drones and their public acceptability, which is crucial when considering the use of drones in new urban mobilities. Its research activities focus on three main areas:

  • ATM/UTM (“Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management”) interaction, including in particular the safe and robust integration of drones in airspace, the interoperability and integration of USSPs (U-Space Services Providers) with each other and with ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers), the “Human Factors” approach and the social acceptability of new services (in particular those linked to Urban Air Mobility);
  • Deconfliction methods, including strategic deconfliction (trajectories, optimization and time management to enable airspace integration) and tactical deconfliction (ground and onboard deconfliction algorithms, impact of weather on operations, see & avoid, drone fleet management, etc.);
  • Artificial intelligence applied to UTM, including Machine Learning experiments and the implementation of tactical services for greater flight safety, as well as work on ground/board data exchanges, notably for managing degraded situations. These subjects, which are essential to tomorrow’s air transport and particularly strategic for all those involved, can now be addressed thanks to the support of the Chair’s corporate sponsors. Olivier Chansou, Managing Director of ENAC, comments: « We would like to thank Airbus and Sopra Steria for their trust and support, which will enable us to maintain our position as European leaders in key areas for the future of the air transport sector, by continuing the work carried out within this Chair. »