In short




2018-07-24 > 2019-10-23







Avoiding no-fly zones in busy low-level airspace

To prevent drones straying into protected areas, for example around critical infrastructure such as power plants or airports, geofencing and geo-caging technology are used to contain drone operations. Geofencing solutions prevent drones from entering forbidden areas and geo-caging does not allow drones to fly beyond a set boundary. Both measures are critical to keeping complex low-altitude airspace safe for all by ensuring drones avoid any designated no-fly zones and adhere to rules put in place by EU Member States. Geofencing solutions are therefore key safety enablers and form part of the foundational services for the development of drone operations.

The GEOSAFE research set out to establish state-of-the-art geofencing U-space solutions and to propose improvements and recommendations for future geofencing system definition. The project was based on a one-year long flight-test campaign, which assessed a number of commercially- available geofencing solutions in order to propose improved geofencing systems for tomorrow and technological improvements for drones. The research included 280 flight tests in France, Germany and Latvia, which tested representative situations that a drone will face in urban and rural areas. They covered a range of missions including agricultural operations, inspections, emergency events and deliveries.

The flights tested foundational and advanced geofencing services with reference to pre-tactical flight (a core competency required for entry level U-space, U1); tactical operations (required for slightly more advanced U-space U2); and dynamic situations (necessary for U3). Project partners considered issues such as technology performance, pilot warnings, communication failure, weak satellite positioning signals, restricted area updates during flights, tracking and drone navigation system performance. The results were used to identify ways in which the technology can be used to support safe interaction with all airspace users.

The project concluded most drones meet the requirements for pre-tactical geofencing and demonstrated that existing technology is ready for initial U-space services even though no one solution is aligned with regulations in different countries. Solutions are also available to support tactical geofencing necessary to deliver advanced U-space services despite the lack of standardisation. However, technology capable of supporting dynamic geofencing is not sufficiently mature to meet full U-space service levels, although this is expected to develop rapidly in the near term, not least because dynamic geofencing is a key function for unmanned vehicles operating beyond the visual line of sight.

The results are helping to inform the European Commission, EASA and EUROCAE of best practices for integrating drones into European airspace; in particular the development of performance requirements will be useful for the ongoing standardisation process.

Principle of geofencing system


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19 March 2019: Thales to lead EU project on drone geofencing technologies to secure future U-space. Read the press release



Thales The coordinator of the project. 
Recognized as mastering the technologies needed for autonomous vehicles and a world-class leader in the fields of military drones, civil avionics and air traffic management, Thales is one of the pioneers of urban air mobility. As the coordinator of the project, Thales will organize all tests and will provide recommendations for the European geofencing system.
Aeromapper Aeromapper is a manufacturer and operator of long range UAVs specialized in cartography and surveillance.
Aeromapper provides Geosafe with test capabilities on fixed-wing drones for beyond line of sight flights. Aeromapper will work closely with AirMap and Thales to make Geofencing responsive and compatible with the future European UTM system.
AirMap AirMap is the leading global UAS Traffic Management (UTM) platform for drones with solutions for geo-awareness, flight management, authorization, and real-time traffic deconfliction. For GEOSAFE, AirMap will equip each drone operation with dynamic airspace information related to advisories, regulatory requirements, and weather conditions. Once airborne, the drone shares telemetry with the AirMap platform to receive real-time alerts of changes in airspace conditions, including temporary flight restrictions, restricted areas, and live positioning of nearby air traffic for enhanced situational awareness and safety.
Airmarine AIR MARINE has been performing air missions for more than 25 years.
AIR MARINE’s combination of airplane/helicopter and drone commercial pilots allow the company to address accurately and efficiently the drone operational challenges with the manned-aviation related concerns.
AIR MARINE will bring to GEOSAFE project its experience in multiple drone systems fleet operations to challenge and test in real flight conditions the performances of the geofencing features provided by the drone manufacturers.
ATechsys Atechsys Engineering (ATE) provides a drone powered solution for 10 years. With Thalès and Hionos, ATE will be in charge of tests, in flight, of the Geosafe solution performances developed by partners. The CEEMA, sub-contractor of ATE, will give access to its privatized aerial zone with a runway.
SPH Engineering Unmanned systems integration services and software development, and world’s premier mission planning software UgCS are the main specialization of SPH Engineering. As one of the partners of the project SPH Engineering will provide respective testing of geofencing solutions to validate the compliance of the current drone features regarding to U-space services. Tests will be performed in Latvia.


This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No SJU/LC/0335-CTR

European Union