University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is an international science university which creates innovation for the future, well-being, and knowledge through research and education. Founded in 1958, their community comprises 13,000 students and 2,900 employees and has established itself as one of the biggest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. The university consists of eight faculties and many specialised research units. They are responsible for demonstrators 2 and 8.

Demonstrator 2

5G/6G Networks Infrastructure Adaptations

Description

Demonstrator 2 will show how existing 5G infrastructure can be improved to support UAS operations in an urban environment. How should the 5G/6G communication infrastructure support urban UAS operations? Should possible UAS operations already be considered in the radio network planning? Currently, mobile networks are planned for terminals on the ground. Following this principle, the coverage for unmanned aircrafts would be on shaky and unreliable basis i.e. assuming some sporadic antenna beams ‘leak’ in the sky. Should specific antennas directing upwards be deployed instead? Considering drone services like the delivery of goods, could there be defined routes based on mobile network base stations?

Background

Oulu has been one of the pioneers of developing cutting edge communications technologies. Vehicle-to-everything communications’ challenges – how to ensure high-quality reliable communications for different transportation modalities, including those operating in U-Space.

Results

  • The outcome is to specify the requirements of UAS operations to 5G/6G and IoT infrastructure. The requirements will be used as input for 5G network planning considering the topology and corridors or spots/lighthouses for UAS. Moreover, the specifications will determine deployment-related parameters such as antenna types, antenna directions and heights, frequency bands and link budget. Subsequently, the research will verify if there is a need to configure the 5G networks specifically for drones in terms of networks slicing, mobility management or performance management, etc.

Demonstrator 8

Multi-purpose and Specific Service Drones

Description

Service drones will provide services to city inhabitants and businesses. Multi-purpose heliports will be deployed to serve as parking and drone charging stations. This demonstrator is to deploy prototypes of those heliports, which may have limited functionality. The future heliports though will be equipped with a variety of modules that service drones can swap to achieve the best match for the requested mission. Furthermore, the future heliports will be equipped with cargo bays or lockers able to fit a cargo container.

Background

  • Scalable UAM solutions: Oulu is a small city possessing most attributes typical to big cities. What are the important considerations, future-proof technology solutions and best practices to develop U-Space supporting infrastructure and services that may be deployed in larger cities?
  • Nordic challenges: Due to the geographical position of the City of Oulu, local U-Space operations are exposed to severe Nordic environment conditions. The Nordic U-Space technological and operational challenges – what are those and how to tackle them in order to achieve safe, secure and all-weather resilient UAS technologies?

Results

To achieve the pilot deployment of service drones in Oulu and to specify a set of requirements for service drone supporting infrastructure, which includes: reflection in business models; integration into the supply chain and service provisioning schemes; availability of interfaces including end-users; a broad range of communication means covering all operational areas; drone identification and tracking methods; UTM; power supply infrastructure enhanced with energy harvesting technologies; and compliance with EU and national regulations, policies and the MyData movement/principles.

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