The Russian Federation, along with other world leaders in the UAS development, is moving towards active drone implementation into various sectors of the economy. Taking into account its large territory and the presence of various unique natural and infrastructure challenges, an effective UAS operation in Russia can hardly underestimate these challenges. In this regard, for the safe regulation of UAS flights and safe integration into the common airspace, an infrastructure for certification and implementation of UAS is required.
In 2019 International Aero Navigation Systems Concern JSC (IANS) received a government grant equal to $ 7.15 million from the Russian Venture Company (RVC JSC) Project Support Fund of the National Technological Initiative (NTI Fund) for development of the first test site for UAS in Russian Federation to accommodate UAS flight design and certification testing (UAS Test Site). Thereby, the Civil Aviation Authority of Russian Federation has given IANS the official permission to conduct UAV flight tests and certification procedures. The UAS Test Site provides an opportunity to use flight and digital platforms for abovementioned tasks.
The experimental flight platform of the UAS Test Site is a software and hardware complex that can support many different types of UAS flight tests. The UAV, as a test object, has different levels of technical maturity, reliability and safety at different stages of its lifecycle. Therefore, the flight platform is designed to provide flight tests throughout the entire UAV development process (from the technology demonstrator to the prototype subject to certification).
The digital platform of the UAS Test Site is a software and hardware complex that provides accelerated assessment of UAS compliance with airworthiness standards (certification), as well as testing of UAS under development. The digital platform is designed for implementing virtual UAS flight tests, as well as services for end-to-end digital processing of test data. It verifies the compliance of UAS characteristics with the requirements of airworthiness standards and technical specifications.
The following objects can be tested at the UAS Test Site:
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
- UAS command and control systems
- UAS payload (equipment).
Moreover, the UAS Test Site is an ecosystem for developing technologies for UAS integration into the common airspace.
The second UAS framework project for which government financial support from the NTI fund was provided is a system for integration of unmanned and manned aircraft into a common airspace RUTM-1 (Russian Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management). The grant equal to $ 7.1 million dollars from the NTI Project Support Fund is allocated for the implementation of the first phase of the RUTM system deployment.
The project will automatically provide airspace for UAS, maintain safe flight separation minima and prevent conflicts in the air. It is also planned to create areas of joint air navigation and information services for both unmanned and manned aircraft. Consequently, all necessary conditions for the safe and efficient operation of unmanned and manned aircraft in a common airspace will be created.
In order to popularize and openly implement the project, the website www.droneport.aero was launched. It displays the project progress, and provides an opportunity to read the latest news or discuss valid questions on the forum.