The FUAVE consortium is building a sustainable base for the development and use of these test areas.
Next generation drone use-cases will require cellular connectivity, autonomy, better performance, and ground infra.
The test areas can be used as platforms for the development of safe and weatherproof UAVs and sensors. They also enable the development of scaled aviation solutions for urban and rural areas. Target is to implement service simulations which are not just a one flight but to simulate longer term all-weather operations. Even downtown operations are targeted, as far as permissions are received from the civil aviation authority.
The FUAVE project is funded by the Academy of Finland and we aim to advance the drone-related development and innovation activities together with the companies.
FUAVE test areas in detail
The Oulu-Hailuoto area is planned to be used as an urban UAV test field, especially for UAV applications requiring low altitude and autonomous flying, i.e., for deliveries, sampling, etc. The types of UAVs utilised may vary from light to heavy, depending upon the application purpose. The Oulu-Hailuoto test area will be coordinated by OAMK, VTT and University of Oulu.
Jätkäsaari is a densely populated area in the heart of Helsinki. Ideal for an urban UAV testfield, for diverse applications requiring low altitude and autonomous flying, i.e., for deliveries, sampling, etc. The types of UAVs may vary from light to heavy upon application. Coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki Oy.
Picture: City of Helsinki Media Bank / Julius Konttinen
Helsinki-East Aerodrome is a new operational airport 60 mins East of Helsinki. In addition to GA it serves UAV-sector as a future aerospace testbed. Free airspace, over 10.000 mᒾ of space on the apron and indoor facilities for drone activity.
OuluZone is a growing motor sport center about 30 minutes East from the city centre of Oulu. In the future, the plan is to develop and utilize the area also for demanding drone, robot and autonomous systems testing. OuluZone is planning to be the first 5G-enabled test site in Finland.
Savukoski (67°17′30″N, 28°9′40″E) is located in the province of Lapland, over 100km north of the arctic circle. The municipality has a population of 1,009 and covers an area of 6,495.95 km² of which 57.93 km2 is water. The population density is 0.16 inhabitants per square kilometre, which is the lowest in Finland. Landscape is mostly wilderness and wetlands, with separated fields. Temperatures range from -47°C to +30°C. The Savukoski test area includes terrain from fields to wetlands and also a big catchment area for the river Kemijoki, the longest river in Finland. Also inside the test area is forests on all the growing stages and agricultural fields. To the municipality center, where the test area HQ is located, comes optic fibre and there’s fast mobile network, but outside the center there’re many shadow regions that don’t have any network. There are no airfields etc close by so only airspace usages come from military and occasional small aircraft.
Kirkkonummi Sjökulla (WGS84 60° 14′ 31″, 24° 23′ 2″) is a permanent test field for remote sensing systems and maintained by the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute in the National Land Survey of Finland (FGI). Sjökulla contains reference targets for geometric, radiometric and spatial calibration and it has been in operation since 1994. For example, in terms of geometric precision, millimeter-precise geometric targets can be installed in the area. It comprises a core area of size of ~500 m by 500 m and a larger 10 km by 10 km area for high-altitude systems. Sjökulla is located in the Helsinki-Vantaa airport approach area (EFHK TMA LOWER). Drone VLOS flights are permitted with a maximum flying height of 120 m (open category) and for BVLOS or higher altitude flights airspace reservation is needed. During FUAVE, we will support system testing in Sjökulla and enhance testing possibilities for the needs of emerging drone remote sensing systems.