The project

Main work package 1

Social Interactions & Legal Framework

The minimisation of the risks and hazards posed by aviation to individual legal interests worthy of protection (life and health as well as the protection of personality, including data protection) is at the same time one, although not the only, requirement for the sense of security and social acceptance of air traffic that will increase in the future. In MWP 1, structures, strategies and instruments of airspace control are to be researched from a legal point of view. The associated aspects of people’s sense of security and social acceptance of air traffic, including the increasing drone flight, are the subject of social science and (experimental) psychological research.

Work package 1.1

Social expectation formation and acceptance or reactance

Subproject 1.1 investigates the social framework conditions. The research project focuses on the formation of social expectations, i.e. the acceptance or reactance towards the use of drones in hamburg’s inner-city areas. By means of a standardized survey, we determine whether and to what extent innovations are received and accepted in the broad spectrum of society. Specific aspects such as concerns about accidents, threats to privacy, exposure to noise or the acceptance of local miniports also play a role. Perceived financial sustainability is also examined. The survey uses a vignette-analytical design to determine the different facets of these subjective costs and benefits. In addition, it is examined which stakeholders support the implementation of the mobility concept.

Work package 1.2

Psychological foundations of social acceptance or reactance

Not only the mechanisms of social acceptance or reactance, but also the psychological foundations of these attitudes have hardly been researched so far. Psychological experimental studies make it possible to differentiate basic needs and influencing variables at the level of the individual. In this sub-work package, a simulation of Hamburg views is planned, for example a view over the Alster or the harbor, which is simulatively supplemented with different objects (e.B. boats in the water, drones in the air). This setting enables comparative assessment judgments of the subjects.

Work package 1.3

Aviation law implications for the airspace of the future

In this sub-work package, the aviation law implications of the project are developed from two perspectives: First, the applicable law is examined for those concerns and requirements for their consideration that the legislator considers to be in need of protection and essential and for whose purposes (aviation law) regulation already exists today. Secondly, future regulatory needs are to be identified. This is also done on the basis of the findings of other sub-work packages, for example on urban planning, the social sciences and neuropsychology. The focus will also be on how air freedom is ensured in urban areas and under which specific conditions it is to be restricted.

Main work package 2

Demand Modeling & Concept Development

For the first time since the introduction of the automobile one hundred years ago, the introduction of urban air mobility concepts represents a fundamental expansion of the portfolio of urban modes of transport. In order to assess the significance of these changes and to incorporate them into the design process of the urban air transport system, concept workshops are carried out in MWP 2, potential user groups are derived and, based on this, the possible demand is modelled taking into account displacement effects in the overall transport system.

Work package 2.1

Requirements derivation as a basis for UAM sub-concepts & application scenarios

During the course of the project, concept ideas for the individual sub-disciplines will be developed in various workshops with all participating network partners and Top Level Requirements (TLR: payload, speed, range, entry/exit times, availability, area coverage, etc.) will be derived in order to use them as a common standard in the further course of the project and to develop application scenarios. Since UAM has a wide range of possible development directions, assumptions and parameter combinations are made in various scenarios, which are examined in the following HAPs, in particular with regard to the numerous operational and technological aspects (flight guidance, communication, etc.).

Work package 2.2

Potential user group as a basis for demand scenarios

The basis for the demand scenarios is the identification of user groups and areas of application. With multimodal GIS accessibility analyses based on extensive data on transport networks, population and workplace distribution as well as the spatial location of potential other destinations such as supply, education and leisure facilities, potential corridors for UAM can be identified and visualized, especially with regard to parameters such as travel time differences or transfer frequencies. Potential areas of application are, for example, airport feeder traffic, the overcoming of spatial barriers such as rivers or the connection of peripheral, hitherto difficult to reach areas.

Work package 2.3

Multimodal Demand Modeling & Modal Shift Effects

On the basis of accessibility analyses and derived scenarios, a traffic picture is derived for each scenario as a basis for modelling the overall system. The basis is, among other things, the number of paths, their spatial location (source-destination) or the temporal distribution. When choosing a means of transport, shifting effects between means of transport are to be investigated. Potential traffic-inducing effects on the spatial structure as a result of faster overcoming of space (e.g. longer commuting distances) are to be evaluated.

Main work package 3

Ground-based infrastructure

The subject of MWP 3 is the planning, functioning, modelling and application scenarios of the ground-based infrastructure for the future flight vehicles, the so-called “Vertiports”. The research projects of MWP 3 deal with different aspects of the development of vertiport networks. In addition to the vertiports in their function as traffic sources and sinks, the maintenance facilities are also regarded as network elements and different charging function concepts are developed. Urban-sociological knowledge bases are also included in these considerations.

Work package 3.1

Development of a methodology for capacity modeling of vertiports

In addition to free airspace capacities and the aircraft, Vertiport capacities are also necessary to meet passenger demand. In addition to the number of possible take-offs and landings per time, the concept of capacity also means sufficient parking spaces for waiting or non-operating aircraft. Parking spaces in densely populated urban areas can be difficult to realize and compete with other uses, but could avoid empty flights compared to areas on the outskirts of the city and allow for lower waiting times for passengers. Another factor is the number and dimensioning of the vertiports, for which, among other things, economic issues have to be considered. Various designs of ground infrastructure networks are methodically developed and evaluated in this package.

Work package 3.2

Automatic ground-based MRO

Specifically, the following individual aspects are addressed in this work package: On-board and ground-side command and information systems as well as operating infrastructures are to be developed. For this purpose, concepts for an automatic and ground-based MRO are being developed. For example, this should be able to detect and repair damage to the aircraft or load the aircraft with regard to propulsion type and logistics. The challenges in the development of these automatic ground-based MRO lie in the flexibility of the MRO processes and systems, as the components and damage can be very diverse.

Work package 3.3

Conception of an energy management system

In this work package, an energy management system for a novel air transport concept in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is to be designed. This enables grid-compatible or grid-friendly and at the same time safe and economical operation of the overall system. Characteristic sizes of possible flying objects are determined in order to determine the restrictions on the part of the vehicles for energy management. In addition, a system simulation will be set up with the help of which different management systems, charging/refuelling concepts and vertiport architectures can be simulated. A decisive aspect is the integration into the existing infrastructure (electricity and gas network, logistics) for the provision of energy in the required form (hydrogen, electricity, etc.).

Work package 3.4

Vertiport-Waterfront: Integration of Vertiport concepts in Hamburg

Subproject 3.4 investigates the possibilities for integrating new air mobility structures into the urban fabric. For the specific application of Hamburg, the theoretical foundations are to be created and planning application scenarios modeled and evaluated. The central question here is which potentials, obstacles and conflicts are associated with new urban air mobility from an urban spatial perspective or from the point of view of urban research. The working hypothesis is that the introduction of urban air mobility can create new opportunities to remedy or effectively reduce critical mobility bottlenecks in urban centres such as Hamburg.

Main work package 4

Airspace Organization & Operations

In view of the expected strong growth in regional air traffic volumes, efficient and agile planning, monitoring and control of flight movements through an air traffic management system (ATM) is required. In MWP 4, alternatives for a regional, urban ATM in conjunction with a higher-level ATM are to be researched and modelled so that their performance can be simulated in MWP 5.

Work package 4.1

Development of regulations for airspace organization

In the future, unmanned aviation may increase sharply. Particularly high growth is expected in the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems, so-called “Unmanned Aerial Systems” (UAS). In order for such UAS to fulfil their purposes, participation in general air traffic is required. Currently, unmanned systems in Germany are not approved for regulated use in controlled airspace. In addition, there are no harmonized approval regulations throughout Europe that regulate the air traffic of drones. For this reason, suitable legal and technical concepts are needed that enable the integration of UAS into urban airspace. The resource of airspace is limited, so that an increased demand for flight authorisation requests from UAS users or unsuitable airspace structures can lead to a scarcity of the resource airspace and thus to conflicts of use between airspace users. For the organization of airspace in urban areas, this work package aims to design suitable distribution strategies with regard to legal and technical feasibility.

Work package 4.2

Modelling of airspace management and flight trajectories

Within the scope of this research task, different strategies for the design of flight movement flows are investigated in order to determine suitable recommendations for action. Which spatial division (e.B air traffic routes, flight corridors) makes sense for regional air transport, based on needs and ground infrastructure, and on which trajectories should the aircraft move, also in view of the noise emissions and the acceptance of the local population? These questions form the basis for the development of meaningful model approaches.

Work package 4.3

Modeling of Conflict Detection & Conflict Resolution Strategies

One of the most important challenges in the development of an Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) is the detection and resolution of conflicts occurring in the airspace under consideration. A conflict describes an event in the future in which two or more airspace users experience a loss of minimum distance from each other. Due to the complexity of conflict management in the drone context, the conflict management process is often divided into different phases of the operation of UAS. The strategic phase considers the planning phase of drone flights and the tactical phase the operational use of airspace. In this work package, suitable conflict detection and resolution strategies are to be developed in order to reduce emerging conflicts between airspace users and to use the available urban airspace safely and efficiently. Both decentralized and central strategies are to be compared with each other, taking into account vehicle capabilities.

Work package 4.4

Autonomy, communication and sensors

The operating conditions of urban aviation differ fundamentally from those of conventional aviation due to significantly greater mission diversity and fundamentally different framework conditions, including high traffic density, highly three-dimensional and challenging terrain, difficult radio propagation environment and great dynamic interference from third-party systems. These challenges can only be successfully mastered by a significantly greater degree of autonomy of flight guidance and control compared to today’s systems. In order to increase autonomy, this subproject aims to investigate reliable communication methods between the aircraft and the ground stations with the aim of collision avoidance and route optimization. On the other hand, autonomy is to be advanced through research into suitable sensors and associated data analysis on the aircraft. Future UAM vehicles will require real-time, reliable 360-degree environment detection as an essential component of autonomous or at least semi-automated control.

Work package 4.5

Sound propagation in urban environments

In this subproject, the sound propagation of a characteristic rotor will be investigated taking into account the urban topology and suitable flight trajectories. As a high-quality input for the calculation of the sound propagation, a numerical flow simulation of the rotor including the near field, which is to be created at the beginning of the project with a U-RANS method, is required.

Main work package 5

Overall System Modeling & Evaluation

The aim of MWP 5 is to build up an overall understanding of the not yet existing urban air transport system, which combines the knowledge of the specialists involved and maps the relevant physical and social effects of airborne urban mobility.

Work package 5.1

Analysis of the interactions between the sub-disciplines/ -concepts

As part of this work package for overall system modeling for airborne urban mobility, the system requirements and the system dependencies between the sub-disciplines involved are first defined. Subsequently, conclusive and concrete overall concepts from the sub-concepts selected in MWP 1 and the solutions of the other disciplines are developed. Through intensive and direct cooperation of all project partners, cause-and-effect relationships are identified and prioritized. This will take place in regular “Design Camps” in the Integrated Design Lab of the Institute of Air Transport Systems. Through the joint clarification of technical interfaces, the identification of interactions, the discussion of disciplinary relationships and the implementation of simulations, decisions between scientists from different disciplines are promoted and the development process is shortened.

Work package 5.2

Setup & test of an overall simulation workflow

In this work package, a modular UAM overall system model is to be set up in order to merge the developed sub-concepts in the form of controlled convergence into an overall solution and to enable flexible adaptations of the components with little effort. The necessary domain-specific analysis modules are developed in the first four main work packages and linked here to form a system-of-systems overall system simulation using the DLR integration software RCE (Remote Component Environment). To make this possible, the definition of efficient data interfaces between the modules is an essential step. For this purpose, a uniform data model is first designed within this work package, which is based on the CPACS standard (Common Parametric Aircraft Configuration Scheme) developed by DLR and finally supplements it with essential UAM vehicle properties and other parameters. After implementation of the system logic (interface to work package 5.1), a peer-to-peer network is created as a result of this work package, which enables an authorized user to apply the simulation methods of the i-LUM consortium in the form of black box models.

Work package 5.3

Methodological foundations of the evaluation of multimodal air transport systems

The focus of this work package is the systematic basic research for the evaluation and selection of complex transport systems, which includes physical-technical, economic, social and legal aspects. The challenge is to capture, quantify, balance and fairly divide the opportunities associated with different UAM concepts (time gain, comfort, robustness, capacity, etc.) and risks (noise, energy consumption, risk of personal injury, violation of the right to privacy, etc.). In order to quantify the physical-technical parameters, evaluation metrics are defined. Social and legal influences are also recorded and addressed. The final goal is to provide a basis for decision-making by selecting, weighting and weighing up all aspects of civil society, politics and business, to involve all parties in the decision-making process and to inform them about the consequences of a UAM system.


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