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EUROCAE publishes 2024 work programme on AAM, UTM, hydrogen and AI

European standards organisations EUROCAE has published its Technical Work Programme for 2024, outlining key areas of work in the advanced air mobility, hydrogen, hybrid propulsion systems and AI.

On advanced air mobility and UTM:

“The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) domain, and its subset of Urban Air Mobility (UAM), encompasses emerging concepts such as piloted, unmanned or uncrewed aircraft systems, namely UAS, RPAS, and VTOL, for which a set of standards are needed to support their safe integration in the airspace. It also covers related topics, like UAS Traffic Management (UTM or U-space in Europe) and ground infrastructure, that are necessary for global integration in the operational environment. New concepts for general aviation will also fall in this domain.  NOTE:  The EU has introduced the term Innovative Air Mobility (IAM), whilst the ICAO, FAA and other international stakeholders use the term AAM. This domain is evolving fast and terminology will continue to change. Working Group WG-105 is active in the very broad field of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The six sub-groups are developing standards covering standardisation activities from technical design issues all the way to operational requirements of UTM. WG-112 develops standards for VTOL systems in a holistic manner and therefore a manifold set of subgroups with very diverse range of topics is quite active. The goal is the safe and secure integration of those aircraft into the existing aviation structure (including certification), as well as in the ATM system.”

On hydrogen fuel cells

“Hydrogen Fuel Cells WG-80 released the joint MASPS / Aviation Standard (AS) ED-245/AS-6858 in 2017, addressing technical guidelines for the safe development, testing, integration, validation and certification of Gaseous Hydrogen (GH2) based PEM Fuel Cell Systems (FCS).  The WG also completed the development of a joint EUROCAE Report / SAE AIR (ER020 / AIR-7765, issue in late 2019) that describes general considerations on hydrogen, on-board hydrogen storage and fuel cell systems, along with the benefits of such hydrogen-based solutions for aerospace applications. This document describes the existing applications and the experience gained from exploiting these technologies. It explains how the experience learnt from these existing uses will help alleviate safety concerns and will underline the relevance of these solutions for usage in aviation.  Since mid-2019, the WG has been working on a MASPS for liquid hydrogen storage for aviation. The aim is to develop system performance requirements for the safe development, testing, integration, validation and certification of Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) including LH2 fuel storage and LH2 fuel distribution.

“The use of Hydrogen systems in General Aviation is increasing as well; therefore in 2021 WG-80 added a second deliverable, a MASPS for Gaseous Hydrogen Storage for Small Aircraft, to their Work Programme. The standard deals with the specifics of gaseous hydrogen storage systems and aircraft’s ecosystem.  In the future, the Working Group intends to work on the following activities with the following targets:

  • The development of a joint guidance document that processes the recommendations coming out of the final Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) report and provides technical guidelines and proposed means of compliance for the safe development, testing, integration, validation and certification of one particular application of airborne hydrogen fuel cell system from those described in the ARC report, considering the equipment that is onboard and those necessary for handling and ground operations,
  • The work will also consist of ensuring that these recommendations are appropriately captured in the documents which have been published (AIR6464/ED-219 and AS-6858/ED-245). This may mean that new issues of the existing documents be created,
  • The development of a joint document MASPS ED-yyy / AS(ARP)-yyyy that defines the technical guidelines for the safe development, testing, integration, validation and certification of material-based storage of Hydrogen (solid and chemical),
  • The development of a joint document MASPS ED-zzz / AS(ARP)-zzz that defines the technical guidelines for the safe development, testing, integration, validation and certification of onboard reforming of: Aircraft kerosene (Jet A1), Propylene Glycol Water mixture (PGW), Methanol / Ethanol and any other fuel

On hydrogen propulsion

“Studies into the electrification of aircraft propulsion revealed the potential of reducing carbon footprint by 50% between 2005 and 2050 – supporting ACARE Flightpath 2050 goals. This step-change in technology / architecture will require new ways of collaborating among airframers, engine manufacturers and system suppliers – and addressing the regulatory framework and Means Of Compliance for these new architectures.  WG-113 on Hybrid Electric propulsion published the report on standardisation needs for Hybrid Electric propulsion (ER-025). Activities on endurance and durability substantiation are currently underway, with additional focus areas to be considered during 2024.”

On Artificial Intelligence

“AI technologies combine the raw computing power of machines with the cognitive power to reason, learn and make decisions.  AI technologies are attempting to provide computers with the ability to: – Recognise and understand inputs like handwritten inputs, natural language, audio, pictures, video and more, – Interact / respond, – Reason and make decisions. AI technologies are developing quickly and appear to become more accessible, providing attractive future capabilities, thanks to the significant processing power increases in recent years, enabling machine learning and computing so that they can perform certain tasks as well as or better than a human. The objectives of WG-114 Artificial Intelligence (AI) are to establish industrial best practices for the development and the certification of AI embedded into aerial vehicle and ground equipment, providing standards for qualification of aeronautical systems embedding AI in Airborne (manned and unmanned) and Ground (ATM / CNS / U-Space / UTM).

“The first task pursued by the group was to develop an internal report “Qualification Process of Aeronautical Systems Implementing Artificial Intelligence – Statement of Concerns” to establish a comprehensive statement of concerns versus the demonstration of conformity of AI-based products to the regulation requirements, and to clarify the future scope of the standard applicability. It was an opportunity to align the groups (EUROCAE WG-114 and SAE G-34) on a common understanding of the AI techniques and the concerns that the use of such techniques would cause with respect to the development of an aeronautic system, as well as to recommend a path forward and to form an efficient organisation to develop the future standard. The report mainly focused on Machine Learning (ML) and performed a gap analysis on the main design assurance standards for airborne and ground systems to determine if they are sufficient when implementing ML, leading to the need to develop specific guidance and methods. ML development specifics were studied to identify areas of concerns and led to a ML workflow within a system development workflow. The group also identified an approach for ML-based system certification/approval and detailed potential development assurance activities to be further studied within the joint WG in addition to use cases of interest such as aircraft systems and ATM / U-Space / UTM.  The direction taken by the documents under development is stemming from this initial report .”

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