Metropolis 2 will provide the fundamentals for concrete solutions for U-space U3/U4 services that are needed to enable high-density urban aerial operations, with a unified approach to the following U-space services: strategic deconfliction, tactical deconfliction, and dynamic capacity management. Thus far, U-space efforts have focused on developing a set of baseline services (i.e., U1 and U2 capabilities enabling services such as identification, flight planning, and tracking). When deployed, these services will enable low traffic density applications such as agricultural surveillance and infrastructure inspection.
Urban, high-density operations, however, will require a different approach, and a degree of autonomy that does not yet exist in current-day air traffic management. First, in order to sustain high traffic demands, the urban airspace must be able to allow a shared use of airspace, rather than the approach used today of exclusively assigning parts of the airspace to individual flights. Secondly, at the expected extremely high traffic densities, airspace design, flight planning, and separation management become increasingly interdependent. With the traffic densities that are considered for urban applications these interdependencies necessitate a unified approach to all aspects of traffic management that determine how vehicles interact with each other.
This project will develop a unified approach to airspace rules on the one hand, and flight planning and separation management approaches on the other hand. It will build upon the results of the current U-space projects, the first Metropolis project, and established separation algorithms. Several concepts, differing in how separation is performed (strategic/tactical, ground/air) will be compared using simulations, and the most promising concept will be validated in a real-world demonstration. The results of Metropolis 2 will contribute towards enabling safe and efficient U-space operations in urban environments.