EmbraerX, Atech, Harris team on urban air mobility

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is an industry term used to describe the system that enables on-demand, highly automated, passenger- or cargo-carrying air transportation services within and around a metropolitan environment. The industry vision involves leveraging new vehicle designs and system technologies, developing new airspace management constructs and operational procedures, and embracing the sharing and services economy to enable a new transportation service network. Aircraft manufacturers and service providers expect to use electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) technologies to enable runway-independent operations. They also expect to operate with very high degrees of automation, up to and including fully self-piloted aircraft. Most operators envision an on-demand service, enabling growth up to 100s or 1,000s of simultaneous operations around a metropolitan region at altitudes up to 5,000 feet and speeds up to 150 knots. These aircraft would carry cargo or 1-5 passengers on short-range trips (e.g. less than 100 km). These operational characteristics will prevent an immediate deployment of full-scale UAM operations since existing airspace procedures, regulations, policies, and structures will not necessarily accommodate the envisioned operations. As an example, without an on-board pilot, compliance with visual flight rules and see and avoid requirements will not be feasible. Most proponents propose operating at a limited scale, some even proposing to begin with pilots in the aircraft much like current day helicopter operations, until the necessary constructs evolve to enable high-density self-piloted operations. Mitre

Embraer’s disruptive business subsidiary EmbraerX is championing the development of a truly collaborative ecosystem which enables people to imagine a world where electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL) will be part of daily life.

In partnership with dozens of air traffic controllers, academics, pilots and industry experts, EmbraerX has published ‘FlightPlan 2030’, a white paper which proposes a procedures-based vision for a new paradigm of air traffic management for the future urban air mobility industry.

“Urban air mobility will evolve to become a significant mode of transportation in the next decade and will require a truly collaborative ecosystem,” said Antonio Campello, president and chief executive of EmbraerX. “Our Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) concept ensures equitable and safe access to urban airspace for a broad spectrum of aircraft, including conventional helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and eVTOLs. FlightPlan 2030 presents what we believe are the necessary first steps towards autonomous capabilities.

” This vision is based on existing technology from Atech, an Embraer company that develops the air traffic control systems used in multiples countries around the world. This project also involved the collaboration of Harris Corporation, a leading ATM technology innovator for the FAA and a global provider of ATM systems that meet the demands of the next generation of air travel around the world.

“As a systems integrator and technology provider for multiple Brazilian defense agencies and other countries, we have been able to envision a dynamic ecosystem of technologies with a focus on maintaining the safety, security, and dependability on which we all rely,” said Edson Mallaco, chief executive of Atech. “The foundations for this disruptive service are already available in many of the modern airspace systems currently being implemented around the world. However, all solutions must be tailored to local community needs, and our collaborative vision has been developed to ensure broad stakeholder input.”

“Harris is leading the development and integration of next generation communications, surveillance and information management for ATM systems around the globe,” said Kelle Wendling, vice president and general manager, Harris Mission Networks. “As we look toward the introduction of urban air mobility, projects like the EmbraerX opportunity allow us to define and promote the safe and reliable integration of these vehicles into airspace systems around the world.”

The UATM concept is designed to examine the ways in which a dedicated air traffic control solution for the urban air mobility industry can interact and coordinate with conventional Air Traffic Control (ATC) agencies and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) for drones. It proposes a new approach for managing high volumes of aircraft in a system that can safely and efficiently operate in dense, low-altitude urban airspace. The combination of eVTOL development and this UATM proposition creates a unique position for EmbraerX to responsibly lead the growth of the new urban air mobility ecosystem, empowering people and communities along the way. EmbraerX is part of the Uber Elevate Network, which believes that on-demand air transport has the potential to radically transform urban mobility, improving quality of life for millions of people around the world.

FlightPlan 2030 is available at FlightPlan2030.com