Using EGNOS for EVTF Flights, EHANG'S EH216 flies tests
EHang will deploy its EH216 autonomous aerial vehicle in a project funded by the European Union to test if it can operate eVTOL aircraft using the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). In Spain, the fully autonomous, all-electric vehicle will be used for flight trials as part of the Satellite Based Augmentation System Adoption in Multicopter VTOL Aircraft (SAMVA) program.
The EGNOS system is intended to enhance the performance of global navigation satellites (GNSS) in Europe, such as GPS and Galileo. By reporting on the reliability and accuracy of positioning data and providing corrections as necessary, the system has been developed jointly by Eurocontrol and the European Space Agency as a complement to GPS service. At a later stage, it will perform the same function with Galileo, the European equivalent of GPS.
As part of an initiative of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), the SAMVA project is tasked with establishing how EGNOS could support planned advanced air mobility services, including eVTOL air taxi flights. It is also intended to prepare for uncrewed vehicles to use the new U-Space concept for managing autonomous or remotely piloted aircraft.
In northeast Spain, Aeroports de Catalunya will assist China-based EHang in setting up an operational center at its Lleida-Alguaire facility. The EH216 will use the EGNOS technology to conduct Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) tasks and demonstrate how eVTOL aircraft could operate in urban environments, including to and from airports.
As part of its plans to offer air taxi and sightseeing flights, EHang is pursuing Chinese certification for its two-seat EH216. It also aims to get approval for its aircraft to operate in Europe and has been active in other air mobility partnerships in Europe, where it has provisional customers in places like Norway.
With a series of flight tests in Spain, EHang completed its participation in the European Union's Air Mobility Urban-Large Experimental Demonstration (AMU-LED). EH216 was demonstrated at Spain's National Institute of Aerospace Technology's Rozas Airborne Research Center, one of 16 consortium members involved in the program.
Victoria Jing Xiang, EHang's chief operating officer for Europe and Latin America, commented, "The SAMVA project will enable EGNOS capabilities on EHang's EH216 AAV to provide precise and integral navigation guidance.”
“Our participation in this project reflects the meaningful progress we’ve made overseas with our strong industry-leading technologies as our global footprint expands.”