Increasing the autonomy of advanced air mobility: Jonathan Gaudreault and Claude-Guy Quimper collaborate with Thales, Presagis and CRIAQ

In early April, CRIAQ announced the progress of its Autonomie des mobilités aériennes du futur project, aimed at increasing and structuring the autonomy of advanced air mobility aircraft – a fast-growing aerospace sector – supported by two IID researchers, Jonathan Gaudreault and Claude-Guy Quimper, professors at Université Laval’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The Autonomie des Mobilités Aériennes du Futur (AMAF) project aims to structure the autonomy of new air mobilities (Regional Air Mobility / Urban Air Mobility) in Quebec through two complementary approaches. Capitalizing on the province’s rich technological ecosystem, the partners aim to make Quebec a hub for digital aviation systems.

The training and real-world deployment of innovative perception and navigation functions developed as part of this project will be facilitated and made possible by the use of a digital twin of the environment designed by TXT. TXT’s expertise will be strengthened by the creation of a virtual test bench enabling interaction between a fully simulated environment and the real world.

The main innovation tested in this project is to develop solutions for achieving a flight that is both safe and 100% autonomous, where the trajectory is not known in advance. Calculating the best trajectory for following a vehicle in real time, checking the safety and security of this trajectory at all times, while calculating all the alternatives to be followed in the event of unforeseen circumstances, are among the many challenges taken up.

These capabilities were demonstrated on the test site of the Center of Excellence for Drones (CED) through tests carried out at the end of 2023 using a drone made available for the project by Thales.

Finally, a new mission planning tool that takes into account energy optimization for hybrid aircraft has been developed, thanks to the expertise of Laval University and Thales. This type of solution will be essential for the large-scale deployment of new hybrid and electric mobility systems.

Read the press release published by the CRIAQ

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