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  • Writer's pictureImAFUSA

ImAFUSA’s partners in action

ImAFUSA team & collaborators during external activities in Egaleo Urban Park in Athens

May 2024 was a very busy month for our working teams in the ImaFUSA project. Our 2nd plenary meeting on the 14th and 15th of May took place in the premises of our partner, the Municipality of Egaleo (EGL) in Athens, providing the space for fruitful discussions on the topic of social acceptance of Urban Air Mobility or UAM. Additionally, our teams engaged in  “sound walks”, experiments that are designed to measure the noise disturbance by drones. The experiments took place in the Baroutadiko Park of Egaleo with over 100 participants. During the experiments, public perception of drones was also evaluated via extended questionnaires handed out to the participants.


Insights of the plenary meeting

ImAFUSA team meets physically and online in the Municipality of Egaleo, Athens

After an initial welcome by Dimitris Tzempelikos from our hosting partner EGL, the meeting started with Sophia Kalakou and Nuno Silva from the project’s coordinator side, Instituto Universitario De Lisboa (ISCTE) addressing all the project management and financial procedures. All the dissemination, communication, and exploitation tasks were presented by the Future Needs (FN) team and Kyriaki Daskaloudi. Additionally, the technical work and the progress of the deliverables were in turn presented by respective task leaders.


Interesting discussions are on during the ImAFUSA meeting

In the next discussions Yannis Kitsos from FN and Margarida Santos from ISCTE made some crucial points about the deliverables review and the progress in the identification of the final use cases of the project in all 3 areas. Margarida Santos from ISCTE then presented the work done in the panel sessions with aviation experts, an important step in our project’s progress. She then passed on the torch to Helena Almeida from ISCTE, who explained the work done around the Observatory of ImAFUSA, and some results from the focus groups.  The next step was a presentation by Xander Van Hal on the results of the test flights that our partner Delft University Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (TU Delft) conducted last February in Athens concerning drone noise, air quality, and environmental impact, which gave us some first views on UAVs' impact on society and the environment. Later on, the discussions moved around the sound experiments we have been implementing in the project and all the crucial details around the equipment, the variables, and the process with all the details on the type of vehicles used and the noise used in various scenarios. Margarida Lopez (ISCTE) and António Torija-Martinez from our UK partner, Acoustics Research Centre at the University of Salford (USAL) elaborated on these topics while all partners engaged in an insightful discussion. Another crucial aspect of ImAFUSA is the development of the environmental, socioeconomic, and safety impact assessment indicators, which was thoroughly discussed by Yannis Kitsos (FN), Raffaello Mariani, and Mrudul Chellapurath from KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. Last but not least, the work around the development of reliable algorithms, mathematical formulas, and the measurement of UAM impacts based on collected data was presented by Sotirios Xydis from our partner, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). 

 

Sound walks - Pilots

Sound walk participants receive their badge

During our plenary meeting, we had the chance to welcome University and Vocational students from two Universities, Panteion Uni and the National Technical University of Athens, and one Vocational Study organisation, IEK Egaleo  to participate in the “sound walks'' experiments that were led by our partner, the University of Salford (USAL). Our partner, the Future Needs team, welcomed participants, informed them about the experiment, dispersed their badges, and guided the groups through the park.




An amazing team effort that came together really well and went very smoothly with a minimum of stress despite a lot of moving parts!  (Marc Green, USAL, sound walks leader)
Marc Green, sound walks leader from USAL on site

There, participants had to stop in 6 different locations and listen carefully to various drone flights, conducted by our partners from TU DELFT and the EGL, and answer a respective questionnaire about their emotional reaction to surrounding sounds. Stay tuned to the ImAFUSA website to read more in our upcoming blog article especially dedicated to the sound walk experiment & survey enriched with a great collection of photos and videos!


Social acceptance survey


Another action organised inside Baroutadiko Park’s café was a set of questions handed out to the students who had taken part in the experiment, to define the social acceptance of drones. Participants were asked to provide their views on the use of drones in the present as well as how they consider their use in a more complex future scenario where UAM applications will be part of our everyday lives. The action was organised and led by our partner ISCTE with Margarida Lopez, Helena Almeida, and Margarida Lopez, supported by FN and EGL teams at a technical and organisational level by explaining further the questions and solving any arising problems.


Special thanks to all the people involved in the organisation and execution of the pilots, it has been a very important milestone for the project and we expect to get our first results out of them! (Sophia Kalakou, ISCTE, project coordinator)

***


After the intense schedule during our meetings, we had the chance to interact below the Acropolis in the historic part of the city during a social dinner hosted by the Municipality of Egaleo and Mr. Dimitris Tzempelikos, who we thank for the warm hospitality, excellent catering, and the organisation of the meeting and external activities.


Last, many thanks to all our partners for their contributions to the meeting and all external activities: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Delft University of Technology & TU Delft | Aerospace Engineering, AgentFly Technologies, Future Needs, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, S[&]T, ICCS - NTUA, The University of Salford, University of Birmingham, DronePrep.



 

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