The ‘ERA’ Project

Extension of automation or remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS) – Integrated Demonstrator for Autonomous ATOL, Auto Taxi and Emergency Recovery for RPAS Air Traffic Insertion (ERA).

The ‘ERA’ project responds to new goals and requirements related to the handling of unmanned aerial systems. The goal of the project is to support implementation of remotely piloted aircraft to the non-segregated airspace of Europe by preparation of specifications for automatic aircraft behaviour in flight and on ground.

Three systems are being developed as part of the project: automated taxing, automated take-off and landing and emergency response. The end result will consist of an automatic taxing technology demonstrator. An airport model will be developed for this purpose. The model will include an airstrip, taxi tracks, and validation of results of simulation of the ATOL and Auto-TAXI systems.

The Polish consortium will develop and implement software for evaluation of obstacles encountered by the vehicle, which will improve autonomy of automated taxing at the airport. The software will enable analysis of data incoming from sensors, merger of data received from navigation sensors, recognition of video images and modelling of traffic and events in the surrounding environment. Results of the project in the form of a technology demonstrator will represent an important technological leap in autonomy of operation of UAVs.

In particular, this international collaboration will enable closing of the technological gap in systems for autonomous UAV operation within the airport (including the whole taxing process). Results of the project and expertise learned from it in terms of identification of obstacles during taxing will make it possible to define technical, financial and organizational requirements for development of completely new platforms suited to the future realities of air traffic.

The R&D project code-named ‘ERA’ (Enhanced RPAS Automation), initiated by the agreement concluded between governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden, was financed by the European Defence Agency (EDA). The project is being implemented based on Contract A-1426-GP-RPAS concluded between EDA and the international consortium established as a result of execution of a separate Teaming Agreement. The Teaming Agreement was aimed to ensure timely and correct delivery of the Contract by detailed regulation of rules of collaboration at the international level.

The Industrial Institute for Automation and Measurements (PIAP), as the consortium member, is responsible for tasks assigned to the Institute under the Contract, based on the Consortium Agreement dated on September 22, 2014, concluded with Air Force Institute of Technology, the leader of the Polish consortium. The purpose of the Consortium Agreement was to regulate collaboration at the national level

Implementation timeframe: 01/02/2016 – 11/03/2019

PIAP’s budget: PLN 780,000.00 net (PLN 959,400.00 gross) 

Project type: International research project

Air Force Institute of Technology – leader of the Polish consortium


  • Thales Systemes Aeroportes S.A.S., France
  • Thales Avionics S.A.S, France
  • SAAB AB, Aeronautics, Sweden
  • Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A, Italy
  • Airbus Defence and Space GmbH, Germany
  • Sagem Defence Securite, France
  • Office National d’Etudes et de recherché Aerospatiales, France
  • Selex ES S.P.A., Italy
  • ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik – GmbH, Germany

Polish consortium:

  • Air Force Institute of Technology, Warsaw – leader of the Polish consortium
  • Rzeszów University of Technology, Rzeszów
  • Aviation Institute, Warsaw
  • Asseco Poland S.A., Rzeszów
  • Eurotech Sp. z o.o.
  • Mr Grzegorz Trzeciak, Kolbudy
  • Industrial Institute for Automation and Measurements (PIAP), Warsaw
  • WB Electronics S.A., Ożarów Mazowiecki