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UAV Online Safety

The goal of this project is to support safe operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for urban mobility. UAVs operations present hazards to other airspace users and people and property on the ground, and monitoring, analysis, and control schemas need to be developed to ensure that the risks attributed to these hazards are managed to acceptable levels. We are working in the design of algorithms and corresponding computational architectures that are directed to minimize risk in flight (i.e., maximize safety under the given operating conditions), while also performing degradation monitoring to support system-level prognostics and track UAV performance during a mission.

Path planning algorithms that perform risk analysis conducted on projected UAV flight paths enable their safe operations. However, most approaches ignore the fact that the vehicle’s operating conditions can change during flight, and this makes the flight unsafe. Online monitoring of the UAV enables system‐level prognostics that combine the effects of multiple degrading components to determine how system functionality and performance are affected over the flight trajectory.  Taking into account the degrading state of the UAV and the changes caused by environmental parameters, we propose a path planning approach to compute the mission trajectory using an online risk analysis methodology.  The goal of the proposed approach is to adjust mission trajectory as necessary to reduce risks and maintain overall system safety under current and predicted environmental conditions.

Some research involving this project:

M. Quiñones-Grueiro, T. Darrah, G. Biswas, and C. Kulkarni “A Decision-Making Framework for Safe Operations of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Urban Environments”,  PHM Society Conference, 2020 (preprint).

Darrah, T., Kulkarni, C., Biswas, G. (2020). The Effects of Component Degradation on System-Level Prognostics for the Electric Powertrain System of UAVs. AIAA Scitech Forum.