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From ConOps to validated higher airspace solutions: ECHO2 kicks off at EUROCONTROL

ECHO2 kick-off meeting

ECHO, the SESAR project co-funded by the EU designed to enable safe, efficient and scalable operations above conventional flight levels, has just launched its second phase with the official Kick-off Meeting of ECHO2 taking place at EUROCONTROL’s Brussels HQ on 29 September attended by the 23 ECHO partners led by EUROCONTROL, and the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking (S3JU).

ECHO – the European Concept of Higher airspace Operations –delivered successfully in its first phase a Higher Airspace Operations (HAO) Concept of Operations. ECHO2 will now build on what this achievement to propose validated solutions that pave the way towards the operational integration of HAO into ATM in three directions:

  • Space Launch Real Time Monitoring Module and associated working station for the EUROCONTROL Network Manager for increased situational awareness at network level, supporting air traffic flow management as well as crisis and contingency management.
  • A Procedural Package covering specific ground and air-ground operational integration issues (including for communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) means) associated with the integration of High-Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) operations into ATM.
  • A Procedural Package covering specific ground and air-ground operational integration issues (including for CNS means) associated with the integration of supersonic, hypersonic and suborbital vehicle operations into ATM.

These solutions will propose all the elements needed by operational stakeholders for a safe, rapid, harmonised and cost-effective implementation of HAO into the European aviation network, at TRL6 maturity. They will also include assessments of potential specific related standardization and regulatory activities.

"Validating operational interfaces between space traffic management (STM) and ATM for launch & re-entries is a hugely exciting and challenging project to be working on. Safely accommodating the growing HAO market and putting in place the right coordination mechanisms between ATM and STM, is increasingly essential as the range of new and future vehicles looking to operate in higher airspace continues to grow, and as operators look to exploit new commercial opportunities. ECHO2 will lead to validated solutions that support the further development of this exciting new sector."

Dragos Tonea EUROCONTROL Head of iNEO (Integration of New Entrants in the European ATM Network Operations) & SESAR ECHO2 Project Manager EUROCONTROL

EUROCONTROL is coordinator of this 3-year project which brings together an impressive array of aviation partners:

EUROCONTROL, C.I.R.A, LEONARDO, DESTINUS SPAIN, DFS, ENAIRE, INGENIERIA Y ECONOMIA DEL TRANSPORTE, NATS, ECOLE NATIONALE DE L AVIATION CIVILE (ENAC FR), ENTE NAZIONALE PER L'AVIAZIONE CIVILE - ENAC ITALIAN CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY, ENAV, AIRBUS OPERATIONS (AOSL),AIRBUS HAPS CONNECTIVITY SOLUTIONS (AALTO), DSNA, EUROPEAN SATELLITE SERVICES PROVIDER (ESSP), OKAPI:ORBITS, LUFTFARTSVERKET (LFV), LINKOPINGS UNIVERSITET, COLLINS AEROSPACE IRELAND, HYIMPULSE TECHNOLOGIES, DLR, DFS, SKYDWELLER, THALES LAS, NAV PORTUGAL, THALES ALENIA SPACE

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