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DEGREE Initiative to Allow the Safe UAS Flight Operation in the Specific Category

Qascom, UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía, Acorde, and EuroUSC are participating in the development of the DronEborne Galileo RecEivEr (DEGREE), a state-of-the-art GNSS receiver, providing a reliable and
flexible solution to allow the safe conduct of SORA SAIL III & IV flight operations.

Most UAVs can be directly employed for the Open Category of UAS operation that, considering the risks involved, does not require prior authorisation by the competent authority nor a declaration by the UAS operator before the flight. Technology development and EU investments in GNSS receivers, including
the DEGREE project, are now focusing on the requirements related to the Specific Category of UAS operation in terms of the security and safety of the navigation subsystems. This is due to the high added value of the multiple operations included in this category.

The objective of the DEGREE project is the development of an innovative Galileo Dual-Frequency receiver with a target TRL 7 at a competitive cost for fast market penetration.

Specific hardware components are being developed and manufactured by the consortium, as well as the integration of the latest technology in inertial measurements and a secondary GNSS receiver for redundancy purposes. Taking the experience of Qascom and Acorde, the receiver has the following key differentiators:

 Dual GNSS Receiver (SDR + ASIC) and a Dual Antenna Hardware architecture that supports all GNSS constellations (i.e., Galileo, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou,QZSS, and SBAS).
 Assured Navigation Engine to enable precise positioning and advanced integrity protection, using state-of-the-art antispoofing techniques.
 Robust PNT using Galileo OSNMA to mitigate cybersecurity threats.
 Support for the Galileo E6 High Accuracy Service (HAS) and L1/L5 SBAS.
 Support for 5G as the signal-of-opportunity for navigational purposes.

The DEGREE receiver will be integrated with the Flight Control System and navigation solution provided by UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía. The procedures used for flight testing are designed to comply with the EASA regulations for UAV operations. For its part, EuroUSC will act as an expert in the field of UAS regulations and SORA, helping to identify the needs of the UAS sector in terms of European regulations for the Specific Category.

The DEGREE solution has been designed to give a reliable solution to the “commercial user” market that requires a high-end customizable product for professional applications, such as Infrastructure Monitoring, Oil/Gas Pipeline Inspection, Emergency Management, Delivery and Transport and Aerial Photography.
UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía, Qascom, Acorde, and EuroUSC make up a consortium that sees regulation as an opportunity rather than a market barrier to extend the use of unmanned vehicles for daily usage. GNSS systems that demonstrate high redundancy and fault tolerance, as promulgated by the regulations,
will be facilitated in the acquisition of the certification from EASA and the consequent “permit to flight” from its national aviation security agencies.

The European Union/EUSPA funds the DEGREE project (under the grant

“Development of a Droneborne Double Frequency Galileo receiver”

GSA/GRANT/07/2019). The content of this publication reflects only the author’s view; EUSPA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

The DEGREE consortium comprises Qascom (as the prime contractor), UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía, Acorde, and EuroUSC (as subcontractors).

UAV Navigation – Grupo Oesía

UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía is a private company with 100% Spanish capital. It has specialised in the
design of guidance, navigation and control solutions (GNC) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
since 2004. The flight control solutions are characterised by their reliability and robustness, being used on
all kinds of platforms and in all weather conditions. These include high-performance tactical unmanned
aircraft, VTOL fixed-wing platforms, aerial targets, mini-UAVs, and helicopters.  

UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía is part of the multinational Grupo Oesía, a Spanish group of companies with
more than 45 years experience designing, developing, and maintaining cutting-edge technology for the
security, defence, and aerospace sectors. It also has a long history of work in avionics for national-level
projects. The Grupo Oesía is involved in the whole system life cycle (design, development, qualification,
and maintenance) of critical and non-critical flight systems for the Eurofighter EF-2000, A-400M, F-18, C-
295, P3-B Orión or MH-60R. The Group is now involved in the most challenging UAV projects, such as the
FCAS/NGWS, Eurodrone, and SIRTAP.

The Grupo Oesía has over 3,500 employees with 15 offices in Spain and America. It is working on projects
in 23 different countries with the main purpose of creating a better, more efficient, safer and sustainable
world. UAV Navigation-Grupo Oesía uses a worldwide network of distributors to supply its cutting-edge
capabilities around the world.  


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