We are pleased to announce the publication of ICARUS Architecture & Design whitepaper, now available for download in the documents page.

This document outlines the architecture and design of the ICARUS system, describing the state-of-the-art technological solutions needed to develop the proposed services.

A view on the ICARUS system architecture

The diagram shows a high-level view of the proposed architecture of the ICARUS system.


ICARUS consumes and maintains permanently updated data from GNSS, GIS and weather sources to support its conversion and alert algorithms. The data is obtained in raw format and needs to be processed before using it in the functional modules.

Application Programming Interface

ICARUS exposes APIs and open and interoperable protocols that are used by U-space service providers to query the system on behalf of U-space and GA users.


Computational services

  • Geo-information module: The Geoinformation module provides a set of services to support all the other subsystems by providing geographical information, typically associated with DSM, DTM and obstacle data. The Geo-information service receives input data from external data providers. Data ingestion is triggered when mission planning is scheduled. Data is physically transferred from external interfaces and stored in local memory.
  • GNSS module: The GNSS module provides real-time information regarding the drone position and the integrity of the solution achieved to the other ICARUS subsystems. The unit performs a check of the quality of the GNSS signal in the geographical area of interest, through the monitoring of the progress of the integrity parameters, providing a usability flag to the users.
  • Vertical Conversion Service module: The VCS module provides the Vertical Conversion Service, which converts the heights provided as input from a barometric to a geometric reference system, and vice versa. It directly interacts with the U-Space Service Provider, with the other internal ICARUS modules, and with the Weather Data Provider that gets data from a set of distributed weather reference stations. The VCS module can determine and share current aircraft altitude with respect to the Earth’s surface (buildings and ground obstacles), terrain, mean sea level, ellipsoid and geoid model.
  • Vertical alert service module: The VALS is a system that provides the UAS Pilot with information and alerts on the detection of a potentially hazardous terrain situation, so that the UAS pilot may take effective action to prevent a crash event. The main idea is to define a 3D safety-space buffer, called the Forward-Looking Terrain Avoidance volume (FLTA), and raise an alarm whenever any type of obstacle breaches the defined FLTA.

ICARUS Architecture & Design