03 November 2020
Enac, Dta and Municipality of Bari together to monitor territory and space through the use of drones and satellites
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Enac, Dta and Municipality of Bari together to monitor territory and space through the use of drones and satellites

The Municipality of Bari, Enac and the Apulian Aerospace Technological District (Dta) have signed a collaboration agreement in recent days to develop and test innovative solutions and services based on the use of drones and satellites in the urban environment.

The agreement represents the framework in which to carry out initiatives, projects and activities already contracted by the District through the use of drones and satellites in the city of Bari in activities such as monitoring the quality of water and sea landfills, monitoring changes in the  soil sealing  , monitoring of thermal microzoning, management of drone mission flights for monitoring the territory in general. The three partners are strongly committed to the creation of the Drone living lab, an environment for applying the innovation model based on the involvement of citizens in an organized and representative form: the living lab will be the place where citizens will be able to express their needs on the one hand of services and on the other to test the solutions and services that the scientific and industrial partners will develop in the city.

There are four areas of action which will be addressed in the Drone living lab:

1) Vehicles, with the use of UAS platforms, artificial intelligence, propulsion, GNSS, PNT infrastructures;

2) Infrastructure, with reference to vertiports (areas for vertical take-off aircraft) and access to energy;

3) Airspace, to define the regulations necessary for its use and to test U-Space services and related certifications;

4) The Community, to verify social acceptability, privacy, ethics, insurance aspects, services and business models.

The collaboration will develop starting from the Sapere project – Aerospace services for metropolitan areas – the objective of which is the design of operational services provided by a platform to support the Urban Control Center that the Municipality of Bari is creating for the monitoring of its territory and which may also include the metropolitan area. The services are based on earth observation with the help of Sentinel satellites, whose data will be processed by the Rheticus platform and on high-resolution surveys with remotely piloted systems (RPAS) which allow for more accurate and real-time analysis the actual conditions of the territory. In fact, satellite data allows you to monitor large areas of the territory continuously over time, while SAPR sensors allow you to carry out timely and precise checks of areas, buildings and infrastructures. To guarantee the safety of RPAS in flight (which will be increasingly intense in urban areas) a traffic management system, called UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management), is necessary in the airspace below 150 meters high (Very Low Level airspace). The platform under development includes a UTM station, specialized in environmental monitoring missions and the customization of the monitoring service within the Rhethicus platform with the development of information content management workflows directly in the cloud platform that provides it. Thanks to the possibility of making use of the most modern technologies for the acquisition of information remotely, public administrations, freelance professionals in various capacities involved in planning and design processes, providers of specific services and citizens who will see their cities will benefit from the services managed more efficiently. The activities relating to the development of regulations to be used in the airspace will be carried out at Grottaglie airport, in connection with the Drone living lab of the Municipality of Bari.

“It is a source of pride – declared the former president of ENAC  Nicola Zaccheo  – to note that the work done together with the Municipality of Bari and the DTA has led to the signing of the agreement, marking a strategic step in the concrete implementation of the Urban concept Air Mobility. The synergy between institutions, industry and research is aimed at encouraging the development of innovative products and services which, in this case starting from Southern Italy, contribute to creating a new mobility model, with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life of citizens . Urban Air Mobility also means smart logistics, with lower environmental impact, thanks to the intelligent use of innovations”.

The president of the DTA,  Giuseppe Acierno , underlined the value of the agreement signed with the Municipality of Bari and with ENAC: “We are satisfied with the consolidation of a collaboration that has lasted for years. We have worked intensely and jointly with the Municipality of Bari to make Bari the first city in the South that will operate as a test range to experiment with aerospace services and solutions such as drones and satellites. This role, which today is part of a national road map designed and defined by Enac and the Ministry of Innovation, relaunches the liveliness of a South capable of grasping and developing ambitious and innovative projects from the bottom up and generates new opportunities for young people and citizens ”.

The deputy mayor and councilor for digital transformation of the Municipality of Bari , Eugenio Di Sciascio, declared: “The agreement fits perfectly into the administration’s strategy aimed on the one hand at making the city increasingly capable of being “sentient” through different channels of collection and analysis of data, on the other hand it allows Bari to present itself as a reference city for innovative experiments for smart logistics in the field of urban air mobility, for the benefit of citizens and businesses in the area”.