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HORUS - High Operational Reliability for Unmanned System

Development of a supervisor system for unmanned aerial vehicles


The number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) flying in the sky has increased significantly in the last years and will keep growing. UAVs are in general not designed taking into account the same safety standards of manned aviation. This is especially important for operations posing increased risk, such as flying beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) or close to infrastructure. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) came up with a proposal for a new regulation for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations. Based on this context, the objective of this Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) funded project is the design of a system that enhances UAV safety.

Project Description

The ZHAW Center for Aviation is currently underway with the design of HORUS (High Operational Reliability for Unmanned Systems). HORUS is not a flight control unit, but rather a supervisor system ensuring the operational safety of the UAV. To comply with future regulations for UAS, the system is designed taking into account industry standards for software and hardware development.

The Center for Aviation is involved in the JARUS Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) process and knows what is needed for UAS to comply with future regulations imposed by more challenging UAS operations.


At a glance

  • Involved Institutes and Centres: Centre for Aviation (ZAV)
  • Project Lead: Benoit Figuet
  • Project Team: Benoit Figuet, Raphael Monstein, Arno Frauenfelder, Pierluigi Capone
  • Project Financing: BAZL special financing for air traffic
  • Project duration: 2018 - 2019