by Staff Writers
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Apr 29, 2013
San Javier Air Base (Murcia) was selected to conduct the trials and demonstrate that satellite communications are suitable to operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs) and integrate them into civil airspace.
The DeSIRE project (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe) is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) within an initiative to support the utilisation of RPAS complemented by satellites for commercial and governmental applications.
To undertake this project the consultancy and technology multinational Indra (Spain) leads a European industrial consortium formed by AT-One (Germany and the Netherlands), SES ASTRA (Luxembourg), Thales Alenia Space (Italy and France) and CIRA (Italy).
DESIRE has undertaken a series of test flights to demonstrate the role of satellite communications for integrating in civil and military airspace RPAS flight Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS). The concepts and applicable procedures were defined in the precursor feasibility studies.
In particular, the flight completed this Wednesday provided a generic terrestrial and maritime surveillance service, demonstrating the dual use of RPAS.
In the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Francisco Javier Garcia-Arnaiz, an aircraft without a pilot on board took off from the San Javier runway at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday 24 April and completed a 6-hour flight in civil and military airspace.
The operation was timed to coincide with civil and military flights operating from the base, which shares its facilities with Murcia Airport.
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