top of page


  • Writer's pictureRefMap

Having an impact on aviation sustainability

RefMap’s plenary meeting in Athens, Greece on May 2024 was a great chance to discuss thoroughly all the intriguing issues that reflect the project’s aims and goals: how to reduce the environmental impact of air travel for airlines and Unmanned Aerial Systems by creating a digital service that optimises flight trajectories on both micro and macro levels.

In the beginning, and after an introduction by our coordinator, Gerardo Zampino from our partner, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the Future Needs reviewed the communication and dissemination activities completed so far and outlined upcoming actions. Over the past months, RefMap partners have been active in conferences, published scientific papers, and maintained a robust online presence, including building a supportive social media community.

We then moved on to a detailed discussion of various work packages and their progress, starting with the business work package, the one that Future Needs leads. The work package works on the definition of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of RefMap and the development of new business models for aviation. During the discussion, the project's use cases, both large-scale for airliners and small-scale for drones, were thoroughly discussed along with the questions and statements that will be used on them to engage aviation stakeholders and collect their feedback regarding the RefMap features. This is an important part of RefMap’s work and several partners provided insights on the final framework and visualisation techniques. This process will continue offline and via interviews.

Later on, our work around the deep-learning methods for flow prediction and trajectory optimisation was analysed thoroughly by the respective partners, Delft University of Technology, AgentFly Technologies, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, who provided updates about their work. Using a low-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CDF) model, RefMap’s partners are now able to predict the wind around realistic urban areas which can be used to explore and optimise Urban Air Vehicles (UAV) trajectories. Also, using high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulations (LES), RefMap partners can accurately predict the wind around realistic urban areas which can be used to explore and optimise Urban Air Vehicles (UAV) trajectories. This allows them to better describe the turbulence phenomena in the proximity of the buildings and use these results for the training of the optimisation tool for the trajectories of drones. You can read more about this topic in our dedicated article.

After two days of intense discussions, we had the chance to unwind and connect below the Acropolis in the historic part of the city during a social dinner. We extend our gratitude to the Municipality of Egaleo and Mr. Dimitris Tzempelikos for their warm hospitality, excellent catering, and the organisation of the meeting.

Last, many thanks to all our partners for their contributions to the meeting: 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.


Stay tuned for all updates coming from the meeting by visiting our website ( and following our social media.

LinkedIn: @RefMap Project

(X) Twitter: @RefMapEU



bottom of page