073 - Trusted PNT for Unmanned Aerial Systems

073 - Trusted PNT for Unmanned Aerial Systems


Urban Air Mobility is expected to become a reality in Europe within 3-5 years. The first commercial operations are expected to be the delivery of goods by drones and the transport of passengers, initially with a pilot on board. [1] 

Satellite navigation systems and hybridisation with inertial sensors can provide high-accuracy uninterrupted solutions to UAS users (can be used for take-off and landing, or precision mission operations)

Current failure rates of the aforementioned solutions prevent the adoption of UAS in safety-critical operations, because of the insufficient level of trust.

SWaP considerations, cost of the components, as well as peculiar UAS dynamics (e.g. limited sky coverage) are key drivers of the PNT solutions.

Protection level concepts could be defined for different navigation sensors, and thus, an integrity concept relying on hybridisation and/or diversification of sensors could be derived. This aims at investigating the aforementioned concepts.


Objective: The objective of the activity is to develop a proof-of-concept of a fused PNT architecture for UAS and showcase safe aerial navigation in the context of crowded and regulated airspaces. The developed system shall exploit hybridisation and diversification of navigation sensors for the determination of a trusted PNT solution. 

Starting point: 

  • State-of-the-art in navigation sensors and PNT architectures for UAS and legacy integrity concepts.
  • Urban Air Mobility use cases and associated requirements, and regulatory framework (FAA, EASA).

Description of innovation/Tasks:  taking into considerations the outputs of past projects like DELOREAN, SONORA, DEGREE and GEODSEY, and UAV related EU Regulations, propose and develop PNT architectures and integrity concepts for autonomous or safety critical UAS operations, and assess the integrity concepts with respect to navigation performance needs (including time-to-alarm assessment within the proposed architectures logic).

Expected output:

  • PNT sensor architectures and associated integrity concepts/Proof of concept.
  • Roadmap towards prototyping and a product, paving the way for industrial products, for instance through activities in NAVISP Element 2.