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Unmanned vehicles are definitely here to stay. By the year 2050, European skies are expected to host over 7.5 million skimmers and UAVs, based on estimates from SESAR, a European partnership that includes companies and organizations from both the private and public sectors. This requires an efficient system for monitoring the airspace.

To prepare for this future scenario, researchers in Spain examined a new system that is supposed to help manage and control UAVs in European airspace. The BUBBLES project brings together researchers from academia, industry, and European institutions to develop a kind of separation management system for unmanned aerial systems (UAS), according to euronews.com..

Using algorithms that calculate collision risks in real time, this project generates a kind of safety bubble around each UAV. When a risk is identified, the system can calculate the likelihood of an accident and the distance to the collision, as well as provide operators with various maneuvers to avoid the accident.

U-space is part of Europe’s new regulatory framework and is comprised of various digital and automated systems that will ensure safe and efficient access to airspace for unmanned aircraft. Bubbles will define the future airspace with several technological advancements, which have produced very low accident rates between unmanned aerial vehicles (under 3 per million takeoffs), and will create a safer city sky for operations at low altitude (LLV).