Demonstration of UAS Integration for VLL Airspace Operations


Within the project DEMONA, the integration of UASs in civil airspace and the corresponding used flight control based on Galileo will be carried out for the first time in Austria. Therefore, special navigation receivers as well as data fusioning processes, tailor made data links, and collision avoidance algorithms are used and integrated into a class-2 UAS in order to carry out flight tests and demonstrate the feasibility.

Brief Description

In Austria approval for unmanned aircraft is limited to operations within the direct line-of-sight of the remote pilot and well below flight altitudes of lower than 150 m above ground (UAS Class 1). Safe operations of UAS beyond visual line-of-sight (UAS class 2) are currently opposed by the lack of ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to the Command-and-Control link (C2 link) of the unmanned aircraft, to collision avoidance against terrain and other aircraft (Detect & Avoid), as well as to the required navigation performance to stagger the flight path from air traffic. Furthermore, ICAO Manuals on Aircraft Performance do not cover unmanned aircraft. The project DEMONA targets to increase the TRL of these topics in a significant way.

The project team follows three top-level goals to improve the international visibility of the research to be carried out. On the aircraft system level and the technical/operational framework level, a certifiable reference architecture for small class-2 UAS and a reference architecture for a minimally equipped ground control station to operate the UAS are to be developed. They include the elements listed above. Using this reference system, a flight demonstration in airspace class “G” of a class-2 UAS as well as a Galileo-based UAS flight are to be carried out “for the first time” within Austria. Furthermore, a knowledge base related to UAS instrument procedures is to be developed and a GNSS-based automated landing approach of a class-2 UAS is tested.

The project partners are further extending their leading role in UAS research and thus, contribute to the development of technical and operational preconditions for UAS of class 2. They will strengthen the national RPAS community in ensuring and expanding the successfully conquered niche market for class-1 UAS and enabling new civilian applications.


Project Partners
  • FH JOANNEUM, Institut Luftfahrt
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
  • TeleConsult Austria
  • Austro Control
  • Drone Rescue Systems
  • TU Graz, Institut für Geodäsie
  • Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG
  • Successfully completed in 2018