The MIDCAS project brings RPAS traffic integration closer to reality

Committed and engaged stakeholders from around the world took part in the workshop at Eurocontrol, Brussels.

The MIDCAS (Mid Air Collision Avoidance System) consortium together with European Defence Agency (EDA) announced the final results of the MIDCAS project at the sixth stakeholder workshop in Brussels.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) represent an important part of future aviation. RPAS operations are expected to benefit European citizens in the fields of security, disaster relief and many other activities. It is therefore important that RPAS can fly in non-segregated airspace together with today’s manned aviation. MIDCAS as the European Detect and Avoid project is a cornerstone to prepare a safe integration of RPAS in non-segregated airspace.

The sixth and final MIDCAS Workshop in Brussels

Since 2010, five MIDCAS stakeholder workshops have been organized providing opportunity for valuable discussions and exchange of information with stakeholders about the project results and findings. Johan Pellebergs, MIDCAS project leader was in Brussels for the final workshop, explains. “The sixth and final workshop, which took place 8 and 9 September, provided a summary of the project, final results and conclusions regarding operational and technical recommendations. About a hundred committed and engaged stakeholders from around the world took part in the workshop. This manifests the will and necessity of working together to bring Detect and Avoid to a conclusion”.  

Flight tests and simulations

Flights with a demonstrator Detect & Avoid (D&A) system integrated in the Sky-Y RPAS test bed have been successful. Flight tests have covered numerous scenarios and sensor combinations bringing RPAS traffic integration a significant step closer to reality. Several types of simulations have also been successfully conducted, including simulations together with air traffic controllers to validate the system and operational requirements.

Next steps

Saab intend to provide leading contributions in follow-up to MIDCAS as well as other research & development programmes such as SESAR (EU Program developing the next generation European Air Traffic Management), and in parallel work on productification of Detect & Avoid.

About MIDCAS: Saab has the head project leader and the chief engineer role in the project, but also responsible for the overall design and the Collision Avoidance function in the system. Saab is also responsible for the Main Computer that has the main part of the functions for Detect & Avoid. The MIDCAS project was launched in 2009 by five contributing Member States; France, Germany, Italy and Spain under the lead of Sweden and is carried out by industrial consortium composed of 11 partners. These are: Saab from Sweden, Sagem and Thales from France, Airbus D&S, Diehl BGT Defence, DLR and ESG from Germany, Alenia Aermacchi, Selex ES and CIRA from Italy and Indra from Spain. Throughout the project, external stakeholders such as EASA, EUROCONTROL, EUROCAE and JARUS, were involved in the process.