The DeSIRE II program will demonstrate Europe's abilities to fly unmanned missions under satellite control. / European Defence Agency
European UAVs can fly maritime patrols under satellite control according to an agreement signed by the European Defense Agency and the European Space Agency.
The DeSIRE II project will demonstrate that UAVs can be flown beyond radio line of sight by using satellite-based command and control data links, said the EDA announcement.
The agreement follows the "successful DeSIRE I project carried out in 2012 and 2013, through which EDA and ESA demonstrated the use of satellites enabling the insertion of RPAS [remotely piloted aircraft systems] in Europe," EDA said. "This project effectively demonstrated that RPAS complemented by satellites can be safely inserted in non-segregated airspace and thus fulfill user needs in maritime surveillance services."
The DeSIRE acronym stands for “Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe.”
DeSIRE II will also demonstrate the benefits of integrating communication, navigation and observation satellites into terrestrial infrastructure, as well as establish guidelines for air traffic management.