ATM Excellent science and outreach for for U-space and urban air mobility


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

SESAR Joint Undertaking

Programme Description

The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is an institutionalised European partnership between private and public sector partners set up to accelerate through research and innovation the delivery of the Digital European Sky.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



ATM Excellent science and outreach for for U-space and urban air mobility


WA1 (ATM excellent science and outreach) comprises the exploratory research activities necessary to develop new concepts for ATM beyond those identified in the European ATM Master Plan and will help to develop emerging technologies and methods to the level of maturity required to feed the applied research conducted by the SESAR 3 JU. WA1 covers innovative content at pre‐TRL1 (TRL0) maturity level and the minimum target maturity level is to complete TRL1.

The Digital European Sky vision includes the seamless integration of U-space with the ATM system to ensure safe and fair access to airspace for all airspace users, including innovative air mobility (IAM[1]) flights departing from airports. The challenge is to define and develop breakthrough solutions that will enable U-space to provide the means to manage safely and efficiently high-density traffic at low altitudes involving heterogeneous vehicles (small unmanned aerial vehicles, electric vertical take-off and landing – eVTOLs – and conventional manned aircraft), including operations over populated areas and within controlled airspace. Research aims at developing solutions that will support the seamless integration of U-space with the ATM system to ensure safe and fair access to airspace for all airspace users, including UAM flights departing from airports.

Detailed Call Description

The SESAR 3 JU has identified the following innovative research elements that could be used to meet the challenge described above and achieve the expected outcomes.

  • U-Space as accelerator of evolution of ATM. This element explores whether U-space can be an accelerator of the ATM innovation life cycle, facilitating faster, lower-risk adoption of new technologies or approaches (automation, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), cloud, ML Ops, etc.). This could include, for example, the use of U-space communication solutions for air–ground communications on the airport surface (to free up the very high frequency (VHF) spectrum for use in the air), adaptation of U-space automation concepts to manned aviation (e.g., advanced automation). In terms of the evolution of ATM, the aim will be to exploit the potential use of U-space technologies and concepts for manned aviation, with a focus on exploring the potential applicability of advanced U-space services to uncontrolled airspace, in particular Class G airspace.
  • Integrated CONOPS U-space / ATM (R&I need: enable UAM). The research shall focus on:
    • The development of an integrated U-space / ATM CONOPS;
    • The evolution of CORUS CONOPS on U-space towards version 5.0 (research shall take into consideration the output of project CORUS-XUAM);
    • Provide a full U-space / IAM roadmap from ER to deployment and elaboration of key pending R&D needs to be addressed in the different pillars of the R&I pipeline.
  • Urban airspace evolution. The objective of the research is to investigate potential solutions to introduce drones in the urban environment while still allowing flexibility for manned aircraft and drones as required by the typical urban mission profiles. The research should aim at developing a scalable concept and deepen into its applicability at a small scale (a few drones and manned aircraft flying typical missions in the same area, representative of the initial demand).
  • Cooperative operations between drones. This research element explores operations where several drones need to operate cooperatively, such as drone swarming, formation flying, etc. that could involve the coordination of several flight plans as well as their dynamic evolution. Research can model the flight missions with in-flight battery replacement and investigate the U-space concepts that might be needed to support these operations. The research covers the integration of these missions in the U-space ecosystem.
  • Improving risk modelling in U-space. Research activities shall develop more accurate air-risk and ground-risk models (e.g., more accurate estimation of the severity of an aircraft crashing on the ground due either to a direct impact or to a mid-air collision) to better understand the link between the TLS and the subsequent impact e.g., frequency of fatalities, economic impact, reputational impact, etc. The scope may include the link to potential models for insurance policies.
  • Integration of air vehicles and personal air vehicles. In the future, new unmanned aircraft systems and personal air vehicles will fly long range and at higher altitudes to feed airports. This research will investigate the necessary seamless integration of those personal air vehicles into a more automated ATM (R&I need: ATM/U-space integration).
  • ATM/U-Space/UAM performance interdependency and trade-offs. Research shall explore the interdependencies between the ATM and U-space/UAM performance framework, analyse interdependencies between these environments and potential trade-offs to facilitate the deployment of U-space/UAM new services (R&I need: ATM/U-space integration).
  • Multi-domain scenario generation service for U-space. Research aims at developing a multi-domain what-if scenario generation service (air, land, surface, cybersecurity) capable of consuming and testing the services exposed from the flight plan management and drone fleet control platforms and being able to generate different load situations, emergencies or simulation of different scenarios in real time (examples in the Funding&Tenders).

Call Total Budget

€25 000 000. The budget is divided as follows: Work Area 1: ΑΤΜ, Fundamental science and outreach - €9 000 000 Work Area 2: ATM application-oriented research - €16 000 000.

Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan

The maximum expected EU contribution per project for each of the topics under Work Area 1 is €1 000 000.

The maximum expected EU contribution per project for each of the topics under Work Area 2 is €2 000 000.  

Thematic Categories

  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Justice - Security
  • Other Thematic Category
  • Research, Technological Development and Innovation
  • Transport

Eligibility for Participation

  • Other Beneficiaries
  • Researchers/Research Centers/Institutions

Eligibility For Participation Notes

Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional dissemination obligations:

  • Beneficiaries must make proactive efforts to share, on a royalty-free basis, in a timely manner and as appropriate, all relevant results with the other grants awarded under the same call;
  • Beneficiaries must acknowledge these obligations and incorporate them into the proposal, outlining the efforts they will make to meet them, and into Annex I to the grant agreement.

Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional exploitation obligations:

  • beneficiaries must make available for reuse under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions all relevant results generated, through a well-defined mechanism using a trusted repository;
  • if the purpose of the specific identified measures to exploit the results of the action is related to standardisation, beneficiaries must grant a non-exclusive licence to the results royalty-free;
  • if working on linked actions, beneficiaries must ensure mutual access to the background to and to the results of ongoing and closed linked actions, should this be necessary to implement tasks under the linked actions or to exploit results generated by the linked actions as defined in the conditions laid down in this biannual work programme and in the call for proposals.

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


EU Contact Point