AIRSHIP project meeting, Brussels, March 2023

The La Palma Research Centre team joined the AIRSHIP project consortium in Brussels, on the 22nd and 23rd March 2023, for the first physical meeting since the project started back in January. INESC TEC hosted the meeting which had as participants INESC TEC, University of Tampere, La Palma Research Centre, Trisolaris, University of Luxembourg, TalTech and the coordinator UPM.

The AIRSHIP Project envisions a new Wing-in-ground vehicle for people and goods transportation in waterways to make transporting to islands and in-land waterways more sustainable, safer and more effective. In order to achieve these goals, AIRSHIP will study and develop new technologies in zero-emission power, on-board AI and in automatic flight control that overcome the challenging technological problems that flying in ground effect poses, allowing such vehicles to become autonomous so they can be effectively used in a wide range of business applications and services, leading to new aviation business models. The aim is to lay the foundations of a new class of fully electrical unmanned aircraft system, the UWV (Unmanned WIG Vehicle) that brings together speed, flexibility and energy efficiency.

The meeting was dedicated to discussions on the implementation of the project for the next 4 years. All the Work Packages were presented, with particular focus on the tasks for the year 2023. During the meeting, the discussion topics were:

  • Communication and disseminaction actions. The communication plans for AIRSHIP were presented, with special focus on younger audiences. Also, the stylebook for AIRSHIP communications was introduced. The PO attended this session.
  • The design of the vehicle. A proposal was made on an initial design, materials and specifications of the vehicle in terms of size and capacity, with further discussion about different possibilities.
  • The propulsion of the vehicle. There was a discussion about the different types of propulsion systems that could be tested in different iterations of the vehicle.
  • The development of the autonomous navigations system for the vehicle based on artificial intelligence.
  • The use of sensors to retrieve information about the surroundings to feed information to the navigation systems.

La Palma Research Centre leads Work Package 9 – Dissemination, outreach and roadmapping and is now implementating the tasks on Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation plan and activities, and Stakeholder analysis and clustering.

Follow the project news on the website and social media (@airship_project) to learn more about this exciting project!