The aim of the ASTRAEA programme is to enable the routine use of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in all classes of airspace without the need for restrictive or specialised conditions of operation. This will be achieved through the coordinated development and demonstration of key technologies and operating procedures required to open up the airspace to UAS.
ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation & Assessment) is a UK industry-led consortium focusing on the technologies, systems, facilities, procedures and regulations that will allow autonomous vehicles to operate safely and routinely in civil airspace over the United Kingdom.
This ground-breaking, £62 million effort is led by an impressive consortium of seven companies: AOS, BAE Systems, Airbus Defence & Space, Cobham, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and Thales.
The programme consists of two separate projects:
Separation Assurance & Control – the particular technologies required to control the flying vehicle in the airspace from the ground control station the spectrum, security and integrity of the communication system and the vehicle's sense and avoid sensor system.
Autonomy & Decision Making – providing the intelligence in the vehicle through a variable autonomy system that shares decision making for the mission and contingency management with the human operator.
This project was co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Welsh Assembly Government and Scottish Enterprise.