Ground impact probability distribution for small unmanned aircraft in ballistic descent

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Abstract

Safety is a key factor in all aviation, and while years of development has made manned aviation relatively safe, the same has yet to happen for unmanned aircraft. However, the rapid development of unmanned aircraft technology means that the range of commercial and scientific applications is growing equally rapid. At the same time the trend in national and international regulations for unmanned aircraft is to take a risk-based approach, effectively requiring risk assessment for every flight operation. This work addresses the growing need for methods for quantitatively evaluating individual flights by modelling the consequences of a ballistic descent of an unmanned aircraft as a result of a major inflight incident. The presented model is a probability density function for the ground impact area based on a second order drag model with probabilistic assumptions on the least well-known parameters of the flight, and includes the effect of wind. The model has low computational complexity and is well-suited for high fidelity simulations for longer flights over populated areas and with changing trajectory parameters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Number of pages23
ISSN0731-5090
Publication statusSubmitted - 19 Jun 2019

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Ballistics
Probability distributions
Aircraft
Aviation
Risk assessment
Probability density function
Drag
Computational complexity
Trajectories

Cite this

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title = "Ground impact probability distribution for small unmanned aircraft in ballistic descent",
abstract = "Safety is a key factor in all aviation, and while years of development has made manned aviation relatively safe, the same has yet to happen for unmanned aircraft. However, the rapid development of unmanned aircraft technology means that the range of commercial and scientific applications is growing equally rapid. At the same time the trend in national and international regulations for unmanned aircraft is to take a risk-based approach, effectively requiring risk assessment for every flight operation. This work addresses the growing need for methods for quantitatively evaluating individual flights by modelling the consequences of a ballistic descent of an unmanned aircraft as a result of a major inflight incident. The presented model is a probability density function for the ground impact area based on a second order drag model with probabilistic assumptions on the least well-known parameters of the flight, and includes the effect of wind. The model has low computational complexity and is well-suited for high fidelity simulations for longer flights over populated areas and with changing trajectory parameters.",
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Ground impact probability distribution for small unmanned aircraft in ballistic descent. / La Cour-Harbo, Anders.

In: Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 19.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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