SEAL Aero is a consulting company with extensive experience in RTD projects in the Air Traffic Management domain. Within the context of AURORA, SEAL Aero functions as project coordinator, but also supports the technical development of the AURORA autonomous flight solution. We sat down with Silvio Semanjski, founder and managing director at SEAL Aero, to find out more about SEAL Aero’s role in the AURORA project.
Can you tell us about SEAL Aero and your role in the AURORA project?
SEAL Aero is located in Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia in Barcelona. The company was founded as a response to the need of state-of-the-art innovation in aerospace and mobility domain, pushing boundaries beyond current limits for both manned and unmanned aircraft to conventionally operate in known environment, towards fully autonomous operation in unknown environment. In development of the aerospace and mobility solutions, SEAL Aero’s researchers are employing novel AI applications, both model and data driven AI ones, as well as interdisciplinary domain knowledge also, e.g., bridging between hardware and software solutions as well as domain knowledge in advanced data analytics.
In the AURORA project, SEAL Aero is a lead partner engaged in several working packages, ranging from U-Space to autonomous control solution implementation, supported by our autonomous research flight laboratory, a two-seater rotorcraft. Myself, as a managing director of the SEAL Aero, have a role of the project coordinator of the AURORA project. Together with other partners, we conceived a basic project idea and have planned the project, which apparently had a very good acceptance by the Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA).
What do you feel is special about the AURORA project?
Contrary to other complementary user-centric projects, AURORA is a critical technology-centric one that engages the relevant stakeholders in attempt to capture their expected future Urban Air Mobility (UAM) capabilities. The AURORA project has several unique R&D points in terms of the new approaches and aimed solutions. Among them, the main one is the air platform-agnostic, autonomous flight solution. The Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operational environment, that includes integrations with the Very Low Level Air Traffic Management future U-Space services and functions, is seen as another unique approach we as a consortium are pursuing in this project. Not less important, is the scope of use-case demonstrations of our technological solutions that aims at the three major groups of UAM users; Smart City, first responders, and urgent logistics. Finally, we consider engagement of the various future UAM stakeholders into our process of technological solutions development as well as UAM operational environment definition, as distinctive feature with respect to other similar projects in the field.
Where do you see AURORA having the biggest impact?
AURORA will have a big impact on closing the technological gaps in key enablers of the Urban Air Mobility operations. The solutions and foreseen results of the project are seen to be foundational for short-term future developments of UAM operations, at both system and system-of-systems levels.
As project coordinator, what do you feel are the main challenges you will face in the project?
The main challenges are related to the fact that the project is quite diverse in its scope, which requires coordination of the key developments in parallel, that are being conducted by different categories of project partners, namely academy, industry, and non-governmental ones. The UAM current state-of-the-art is also contributing to the complexity of the project, given that many developmental aspects require adoption of assumptions which needs to be judged such they correspond to the current trends and foreseen future UAM operational features.
Final thoughts- is there anything else you would like to tell us?
The consortium as a whole functions very well thanks to the experience of individual project partners and their motivation around the main idea around which we have all gathered.
SEAL Aero flying laboratory