Rzeszów begins extensive drone testing with 160 flights by DroneHub

An initial series of drone test flights over cities has been rolled out in Poland as part of an effort to speed preparations for the introduction of urban air mobility (UAM) services and navigation systems across the European Union.

The first of those trials are underway in Rzeszów, a city of 200,000 people and home to the Dronehub drone-in-a-box equipment manufacturer. The project is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 and the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking, which seek to encourage the development of smart and sustainable aviation activities. After Poland, the trial drone flights will take place in the Czech Republic, Great Britain, and Spain as research into safely integrating piloted and autonomous UAM activities within urban environments.

In addition to flight operator Dronehub, the project involves sensor and equipment supplier Honeywell, and navigation and air traffic software partner Altitude Angel. All those companies are members of the Uspace4UAM consortium, which works to accelerate development of operational concepts, regulation, and standards for UAM operation across the EU.

The first phase of the trials in Poland will involve 160 flights in the Rzeszów area by mid-2022. Those will operate under three scenarios of autonomous drones flying public service missions. The first of those will replicate aerial monitoring of accident sites; the second to capture ortho- and photogrammetric photos for public institutions; and third to transport AED defibrillators in life-threatening situations.

“Based on the results of our flights over Rzeszów, guidelines for drone flights will be developed, as drones in the near future will become a common sight over the European cities,” explains Dronehub founder and CEO Vadym Melnyk.

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