RADIUS test flights conducted in Casa Branca

October 20, 2022

Test flights with drones to check how RADIUS is evolving are a key part of the project's development. In order to continue working on this path, four flight tests were conducted on October 13th at Casa Branca Station, Portugal.

The chosen spot covers around 12 km of the Alentejo line from Casa Branca to the Alcaçovas railway station. This site presents all the necessary characteristics and allows the testing of the BVLOS functionalities of the RADIUS prototypes because:

  • Traffic is limited to a few slots during the day, offering several traffic-free windows
  • The section includes typical obstacles to be avoided by a UAS in a railway domain, like road bridge, a passengers walkway, light pooles…
  • The area has a very low population density and is free from critical installations like airports or military bases.

These tests contribute to keep working on the aim of exploring potential uses of unmanned aerial technology for monitoring and maintenance of railway siganlling assets.

A key component of the solution is an augmented positioning system based on EGNOS and GALILEO, systems that are capable of providing accurate and safe positioning.

This video shows how the tests went: