Ralf Heidger

VE/U, UTM Development Manager, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH

Ralf Heidger joined DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH 2001, starting as head of the software development department for tower control and fallback systems in the system house of DFS. Since then, he has published ca. 30 papers on ATC, ATM, and now also on UTM software, architecture, on tracking, sensor data processing with Kalman filters and on multisensor fusion.

2001 - 2016 he established and headed a group of 49 software engineers, mathematicians, software testers, and documentalists to develop and maintain the multisensor data fusion system PHOENIX and the flightplan data processing system TFDPS/SHOWTIME that are deployed in all Tower Control units in Germany, and as fallback systems in all Control Centers of the country. He was responsible for about 30 projects of ATC and ATM software development in Germany and for international customers such as CISCEA Brazil, Nav Canada, Nav Portugal, ENAV Italy, Royal Thai Airforce, and LVNL Netherlands.

2016 he joined the strategic department for Corporate Development (VE), where he became member of the Issue Management UAS, there responsible for all technical issues, specifically UTM, UAS, and its relations to ATM. He represents DFS in associations like GUTMA, EuroCAE, UAV DACH working groups, and others. The Issue Management UAS elaborates the DFS strategy for UAS and UTM. 2017 it was turned into a new department, VE/U, where he is responsible for the technical issues, e.g. the development of UTM, which also uses PHOENIX.

He is M.A. of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, and member of DGON, WVS, Shark KV.


Abstract: UTM Developments at DFS in the context of U-Space

The European U-Space initiative sets a context for the establishment of drone traffic management systems. As in some other European countries, the national Air navigation service provider (ASNP), the DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, has taken the initiative to develop such a drone traffic management system, based on the mobile telecommunication infrastructure of the Deutsche Telekom AG, which is partner to DFS in this project. The related system is based on multisensor data fusion from a variety of sensors, sources, and connectivity technologies, and computes a common air situation awareness in VLL both for manned and unmanned aviation. Such surveillance and tracking/sensor data fusion lays the foundation of UTM together with registration functions, e-identification and geofencing support in both the preflight and inflight phase of UAS missions. The presentation will explain the architecture, the project status, the experimentation results, and the further activities of the project.