TsAGI tells about certification of remotely piloted aircraft systems
18 June 2019
Unmanned aircraft is a fairly new phenomenon, which does not yet have clear operational requirements. An experimental area for the application of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPA) will be created soon in Tomsk region for the following integration into the airspace of the Russian Federation. The Zhukovsky Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI, a member of the National Research Center “Zhukovsky Institute”) participates in one of the areas of this project — the statutory regulation of RPA flights.
TsAGI specialists presented their research at a roundtable meeting organized as part of a competition of professionals for solving service and transport problems using remotely piloted aircraft systems “Aviarobotech-2019.” “In our country, the RPA are operated in accordance with the Federal Regulations for the Use of Air Space of Russian Federation and the Air Code of the Russian Federation,” told junior researcher of the Center for Expertise and Certification of Aeronautical Equipment of TsAGI Mark Ovsyannikov. “For instance, these documents state that only remotely piloted civil aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 30 kg or more are subject to compulsory certification (light remotely piloted aircraft, which are less than 30 kg are registered only in the state register). These procedures cannot be followed in the absence of the documents establishing the procedure for their application. It limits the RPA operation and the development of the remotely piloted civil aviation industry. The Center for the Examination and Certification of Aeronautical Equipment under the leadership of Director Vladimir Shibayev has developed a draft of airworthiness standards, as well as additional criteria for determining the range of flight safety requirements.”
The risk-oriented approach formed the basis for these requirements. First of all, the RPA’s risks at flight are estimated: air traffic and population density in the covered territory, onboard and ground sub systems failure, etc. The aircraft characteristics play an important role as well. As a result, the following criteria are developed: the maximum takeoff weight and kinetic energy, the type of flight operations, the application targets.
For example, if an aircraft is lightweight (its takeoff weight is under 30 kg), its kinetic energy does not exceed 90 Joules, it flies within sight and it is not used to perform aviation activities, then the risk is minimal and special requirements are not imposed. In cases when a remotely piloted aircraft system does not meet the requirements, the terms and conditions for their use are becoming tougher. First and foremost the necessary air area for it should be determined. The characteristics of the RPA, on par with manned aircraft, require its owner to pass all the certification procedures, in accordance with the rules and requirements of air navigation services, radio communication, interaction with air traffic management services, etc.
TsAGI’s proposals were reviewed by the Panel of experts led by the State Research and Development Institute of Civil Aviation; further it is planned to transmit these proposals to the Ministry of transport of the Russian Federation.
Aviarobotech-2019 is a contest of professionals to address service and transport tasks using remotely piloted aircraft systems. It is organized by the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Operators and Developers Association “Aeronet”, administration of Tomsk region supported by the Advanced Research Foundation. Its main goal is the demonstration of RPS challengers’ capabilities. The event was held in Tomsk and had a competition format, including tasks for crews on cargo transportation, mapping and searching people, etc., as well as a round table meeting “Statutory and process requirements for the RPA tin the Russian Federation”. The event was organized within the framework of the implementation of the order of the College of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation to establish an experimental area of application for remotely piloted aircraft systems in Tomsk region.