The presentations for this workshop are available in the MATERIAL section (in the top menu).

You can also find photos of the event at this link (password: Drone_Brussels).

The minutes of the workshop can be downloaded here.

group picture

Drone photo credit: Aetos Drones – Belgium

The introductory speech of Dr Philippe Brunet (Director of Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, DG GROW, European Commission) on complementarities of Copernicus with Unmanned Aerial Systems. Drone video credit: Aetos Drones – Belgium


The European Commission is organising on 13 September 2018 a Workshop on ‘Copernicus and aerial platforms’ to explore how unmanned aerial platforms could potentially complement Earth Observation capabilities in Copernicus.

The Copernicus programme currently relies on a set of dedicated satellites (7 Sentinels), as well as contributing missions and in situ capacities to deliver six services (land, atmosphere, climate change, marine environment, emergency management, security). Unmanned aerial platforms, notably UASs, become more and more reliable and robust and are already providing operational Earth observation capacities that could offer, under certain conditions, useful complementarity with satellite-based services. High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites or Platform Systems will operate quasi-stationarily over a fixed point on Earth from weeks to months at very high altitude and will soon provide additional options.

The Workshop, hosted in the premises of Eurocontrol in Brussels, will link industry representatives from the space, Earth observation and unmanned aerial systems sectors to look at the existing and upcoming aerial observation capacities and applications, to understand the operational and legal aspects for using unmanned aerial platforms and to capture potential user needs.

This event is open and free to registered participants.


The detailed minutes of the workshop will be published online shortly.


Side exhibition in the lobby

During the day of the workshop, a small exhibition will allow the industry to present its related products and services (on a cost-free basis). If your organisation desires to participate, please indicate this in the registration form and we will contact you. Places are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. 



Date:               Thursday 13/09/2018

Language:      English

Cost:               Free of charge


Venue:          Eurocontrol

Address:      Rue de la Fusée 96

City:              1130 Brussels





09:30 - 10:00
Registration and welcome coffee
10:00 - 10:30
Welcome and Introduction


  • Philippe Brunet (Director, Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, DG GROW, European Commission)


  • Philippe Merlo (Director, European Civil-Military Aviation, EUROCONTROL)


10:30 - 11:30
SESSION 1: Upstream - Existing and upcoming aerial observation systems


Moderator: Andreas Veispak (European Commission, DG GROW)


  • Tim McCarthy (Maynooth University)


  • Pierre-Yves Dussauze (Delair)


  • Pierre Alain Bosc (Airbus)


  • Christian Lockowandt (Swedish Space Centre)


  • Guy Boullenger (Thales Alenia Space)


11:30 - 12:15
Coffee break


Drone demo and group photo

12:15 - 13:30
SESSION 2: Downstream - Existing use of aerial observations applications


Moderator: Peter Spruyt (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)


  • Nicholas Lewyckyj (VITO)


  • Oisin McGrath (DroneSAR)


  • Juan de las Heras (EMSA)


  • João Araújo (Spinworks)


  • Sven Przywarra (Live EO)


13:30 - 14:30
Lunch break
14:30 - 15:45
SESSION 3: Operational and legal framework


Moderator: Nathalie Le Cam (European Commission, DG GROW)


  • Koen de Vos (European Commission, DG MOVE)


  • Dominique Colin and Henk Hof (Eurocontrol)


  • Koen Meuleman (Unifly)


  • Anna Masutti (University of Bologna)


  • Anna Donovan (Trilateral Consulting)


15:45 - 16:00
Coffee break
16:00 - 17:15
SESSION 4: The way forward - Future user needs and requirements


Moderator: Dinka Dinkova (European Commission, DG GROW)


  • Malcolm Davidson (ESA)


  • Federica Mastracci (EARSC)


  • Vincent-Henri Peuch (ECMWF)


  • Hugo de Groof  (DG ENVIRONMENT)


17:15 - 17:30
Wrap up and conclusions


The workshop venue is located on the outskirts of Brussels. 

When arriving by car, please send your license plate number to the organising team prior to the event, as access to the venue site is restricted. The Eurocontrol premises are located near the Brussels Zaventem airport, with easy access from most Belgian highways. You can access the map and directions for the workshop venue here.

When arriving by public transport, please be aware that it takes around 30 minutes to get there from central Brussels.

These public transport connections will take you to the workshop venue (Haren):

  • STIB Bus line 21 (airport line, from the Brussels Zaventem airport): alight at stop “Bourget” then there is a 10-minute walk to EUROCONTROL
  • STIB Tram line 62 (Cimetière de Jette – EUROCONTROL): on weekdays (until 20:00) to the stop “EUROCONTROL”, the line’s terminus.
  • STIB Bus line 12 (Airport Line): from Schuman, alight at stop “Bourget”. 10-minute walk.
  • STIB Bus line 65 (Gare Centrale – Bourget): alight at stop “Bourget”, at the end of the line. 10-minute walk.
  • STIB Bus line 80 (Porte de Namur – Maes via Montgomery): alight at stop “Maes”, at the end of the line. 10-minute walk. Please note that at certain times only 1 out of 2 buses continue to the Maes stop. 
  • DE LIJN Bus lines 271 and 472, alight at stop “Bourget”. 10-minute walk.


Contact Information

Hannes Dekeyser

Copernicus Support Office

Email: dekeyser [at]