Based on the performance and integrity provided by EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), the safe integration of rotorcraft operations in all-weather conditions, and obstacle-rich environments, is now feasible through GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) RNP (Required Navigation Performance) instrumental procedures. However, although most recent helicopter units are already equipped to fly these types of procedures, today Emergency Medical Services (EMS) air operations are mostly restricted in good weather and in daylight.
Furthermore, the EGNOS integrity concept is inherited from civil aviation domain, with very high confidence levels on the computed navigation position, and has the potential to enhance eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft operations in Urban Air Mobility (UAM) environments.
In this sense, SAMVA project (SBAS Adoption in Multicopter VTOL Aircraft) intends to foster the adoption of EGNOS technology within the provision of rotorcraft and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services and U-space integration. The project formally started in October 2022 and is partially funded by EUSPA (European Union Agency for the Space Programme).
SAMVA contributes to at least 3 out of 6 Commission priorities for 2019-24. That includes the “European Green Deal”, the “Europe fit for the Digital age” and “Economy that works for people”.
European Green Deal
SAMVA project contributes to the European Green Deal's objective of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The implementation of helicopter EGNOS procedures will help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that optimized routes and improved predictability lead to fuel savings and, therefore, greenhouse emissions reduction. The project supports the introduction of 100% electric autonomous vehicles towards a zero-carbon and climate-sustainable aviation sector.
Europe Fit for the Digital Age
Europe aims to enable drones to contribute, through digitalisation and automation, to a new offer of sustainable services and transport, while accounting for possible civil/military technological synergies. SAMVA contributes to these objectives thanks to the activities enabling the use of EGNOS in drones and, therefore, potentiating the smart mobility of urban environments. Additionally, use of EU Space data for drones will contribute to the EU Space programme, as an enabler of digital innovation, being EGNOS and Galileo indispensable contributors to the Digital age.
Economy that Works for people
SAMVA project also contributes to the creation of new jobs through the participating companies, not only through the partial funds received but also the opportunity created to further deploy the solutions at local level and export them to other international markets.