Can you tell us something about KAIST?
‘KAIST is the world’s top tier university specialized in Science and Technology. CR2CENT, hosted in KAIST, aims to prepare for the impeding era of unmanned aerial vehicles in Korean civil airspace. Started in 2015, our center has been performing vigorous research to ultimately lay the legal foundation to operate civil remotely piloted aircraft system(RPAS) in a fully integrated manner. In doing so, we first construct the essential infrastructure to operate RPAS, such as the RPAS itself, surveillance systems, and C2 system by the participation of various research institutes and universities. Then, we collect the flight data of the RPAS to establish and evaluate the minimum operation performance standards in various operating conditions. Finally but most importantly, we prepare for the basis to amend the existing standards to operate the aircraft in civil airspace. ’
What are your biggest technological challenges at the moment?
‘The challenge will be how to reliably integrate the RPAS into the civil airspace. The reliability of RPAS in civil airspace has not been widely tested. A few key components such as communication, detection and avoid, should be further validated. Also, the experience of operating RPAS in civil airspace is quite limited, so we need to accumulate experiences to operate them in various levels from RPAS pilot, air traffic management, airport, and other conventional manned airplane pilots.’
What do you hope people will learn from your presentation at TUS Nordics?
‘People will be able to obtain wider view of “drones”, by which people typically get reminded of small UAVs. The larger drones have more profound impact in this area. Also, thanks to the hard work of ICAO, the full-scale deployment into civil airspace is impending, so I hope the attendees understand the global mega trends on RPAS integration. Also, I will introduce the effort of our country to introduce RPAS, which will be relevent to the efforts in Europe.’
What presentation do you hope to give in 5 years?
‘We will be able to present our first-hand experience on constructing RPAS operation infrastructure and the flight test results accumulated by then. Also, we will be able to present how the Korean aviation laws are amended to accommodate the RPAS in Korean civil airspace.
We will be also able to suggest the further directions for even more streamlined way of operating RPAS in Korean airspace, which can be extended and generalized for other countries’ cases.’