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Due regard encounter model version 1.0

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-397

Summary

Airspace encounter models describe encounter situations that may occur between aircraft in the airspace and are a critical component of safety assessment of sense and avoid (SAA) systems for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs). Some UAS will fly in international airspace under due regard and may encounter other aircraft during these operations. In these types of encounters, the intruder aircraft is likely receiving air traffic control (ATC) services, but the UAS is not. Thus, there is a need for a due regard encounter model that can be used to generate these types of encounters. This report describes the development of a due regard encounter model. In order to build the model, Lincoln Laboratory collected data for aircraft flying in international airspace using the Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS) data feed that was provided by the Volpe Center. Lincoln processed these data, and extracted important features to construct the model. The model is based on Bayesian networks that represent the probabilistic relationship between variables that describe how aircraft behave. The model is used to construct random aircraft trajectories that are statistically similar to those observed in the airspace. A large collection of encounters generated from an airspace encounter model can be used to evaluate the performance of a SAA system against encounter situations representative of those expected to actually occur in the airspace. Lincoln Laboratory has previously developed several other encounter models. There is an uncorrelated encounter model that is used to generate encounters with an intruder that does not have a transponder, or between two aircraft using a Mode A code of 1200 (VFR). There is also a correlated encounter model that is used when both aircraft have a transponder and at least one aircraft is in contact with ATC. Both of these models were built from radar data collected from the National Airspace System (NAS). There is also an unconventional encounter model that is used to generate encounters with unconventional intruders such as gliders, balloons, and airships--these vehicles have different flight characteristics than conventional aircraft. The framework used to construct the due regard encounter model described in this paper is similar to the prior models. The primary difference is that a different data feed is used and the model covers encounters in international flight where the aircraft of interest is flying due regard, which were not within the scope of prior models. Separate electronic files are available from Lincoln Laboratory that contain the statistical data required to generate encounter trajectories.
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Summary

Airspace encounter models describe encounter situations that may occur between aircraft in the airspace and are a critical component of safety assessment of sense and avoid (SAA) systems for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs). Some UAS will fly in international airspace under due regard and may encounter other aircraft during these...

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Unmanned aircraft collision avoidance using continuous-state POMDPs

Published in:
2011 Robotics: Science and Systems, 27-30 June 2011.

Summary

An effective collision avoidance system for unmanned aircraft will enable them to fly in civil airspace and greatly expand their applications. One promising approach is to model aircraft collision avoidance as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) and automatically generate the threat resolution logic for the collision avoidance system by solving the POMDP model. However, existing discrete-state POMDP algorithms cannot cope with the high-dimensional state space in collision avoidance POMDPs. Using a recently developed algorithm called Monte Carlo Value Iteration (MCVI), we constructed several continuous-state POMDP models and solved them directly, without discretizing the state space. Simulation results show that our 3-D continuous-state models reduce the collision risk by up to 70 times, compared with earlier 2-D discrete-state POMDP models. The success demonstrates both the benefits of continuous-state POMDP models for collision avoidance systems and the latest algorithmic progress in solving these complex models.
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Summary

An effective collision avoidance system for unmanned aircraft will enable them to fly in civil airspace and greatly expand their applications. One promising approach is to model aircraft collision avoidance as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP) and automatically generate the threat resolution logic for the collision avoidance system...

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Encounter models for unconventional aircraft version 1.0

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-348

Summary

Airspace encounter models, covering close encounter situations that may occur after standard separation assurance has been lost, are a critical component in the safety assessment of aviation procedures and collision avoidance systems. Of particular relevance to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is the potential for encountering general aviation aircraft that are flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and are not in contact with air traffic control. In response to the need to develop a model of these types of encounters, Lincoln Laboratory undertook an extensive data collection and modeling effort involving more than 96,000 unconventional aircraft tracks. The outcome of this effort was nine individual models encompassing ultralights, gliders, balloons, and airships. The models use Bayesian networks to represent relationships between dynamic variables and to construct random trajectories that are statistically similar to those observed in the data. The intruder trajectories can be used in fast-time Monte Carlo simulations to estimate collision risk. The model described in this report is one of three developed by Lincoln Laboratory. A correlated encounter model has been developed to represent situations in which it is likely that there would b e air traffic control intervention prior to a close enounter. The correlated model applies to encounters involving aircraft receiving Air Traffic Control (ATC) services and with transponders. TAn encounter with an intruder that does not have a transponder is uncorrelated in the sense that it is unlikely that there would be prior intervention by air traffic control. The uncorrelated model described in this report is based on global databases of pilot-submitted track data. This work is a follow-on to an uncorrelated conventional model developed from recorded radar tracks from aircraft using a 1200 transponder code. A byproduct of this encounter modeling effort was the extraction of feature distributions for unconventional aircraft. This provides an extensive collection of unconventional aircraft behavior in the airspace.
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Summary

Airspace encounter models, covering close encounter situations that may occur after standard separation assurance has been lost, are a critical component in the safety assessment of aviation procedures and collision avoidance systems. Of particular relevance to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is the potential for encountering general aviation aircraft that are...

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Update on the analysis of ACAS performance on Global Hawk

Author:
Published in:
Int. Civil Aviation Organization Aeronautical Surveillance Panel Working Group, 1 May 2006.
Topic:

Summary

Initial results are presented from a Lincoln Laboratory study of ACAS performance on the Global Hawk UAV. The study has been applying the process outlined in the ICAO ACAS Manual which involves developing UAV airspace encounter models and running fast-time Monte Carlo simulations of encounters. ACAS performance was examined in conventional aircraft vs. conventional aircraft, conventional aircraft vs. non-ACAS Global Hawk, and conventional aircraft vs. ACAS-equipped Global Hawk cases. The existing ICAO and ACASA encounter models were modified to reflect Global Hawk flight characteristics. ACAS performance on Global Hawk was also assessed parametrically across reaction latencies from 0 - 20 s. Global Hawk flight characteristics were shown to have a small but measurable negative impact on collision risk. Assuming no system failures or visual acquisition effects occur, performance with ACAS on Global Hawk is significantly better than without ACAS if response latencies (from the moment an RA is issued to the moment maneuvering begins) are less than 10 s. Performance drops off rapidly at latencies greater than 10 s. The needs for improved airspace models and a more in-depth study of the interaction between visual acquisition and ACAS are noted.
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Summary

Initial results are presented from a Lincoln Laboratory study of ACAS performance on the Global Hawk UAV. The study has been applying the process outlined in the ICAO ACAS Manual which involves developing UAV airspace encounter models and running fast-time Monte Carlo simulations of encounters. ACAS performance was examined in...

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Remotely piloted vehicles in civil airspace: requirements and analysis methods for the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) and see-and-avoid systems

Published in:
Proc. of the 23rd Digital Avionics Systems Conf., DASC, Vol. 2, 24-28 October 2004, pp. 12.D.1-1 - 12.D.1.14.

Summary

The integration of Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RF'Vs) into civil airspace will require new methods of ensuring aircraft separation. This paper discusses issues affecting requirements for RPV traffic avoidance systems and for performing the safety evaluations that will be necessary to certify such systems. The paper outlines current ways in which traffic avoidance is assured depending on the type of airspace and type of traffic that is encountered. Alternative methods for RPVs to perform traffic avoidance are discussed, including the potential use of new see-and-avoid sensors or the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). Finally, the paper outlines an established safety evaluation process that can be adapted to assure regulatory authorities that RPVs meet level of safety requirements.
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Summary

The integration of Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RF'Vs) into civil airspace will require new methods of ensuring aircraft separation. This paper discusses issues affecting requirements for RPV traffic avoidance systems and for performing the safety evaluations that will be necessary to certify such systems. The paper outlines current ways in which...

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Modifications to ACAS safety study methods for remotely piloted vehicles (RPV)

Author:
Published in:
Int. Civil Aviation Organization Surveillance and Conflict Resolution Systems Panel Working Group, 3-7 May 2004.
Topic:

Summary

Estimating the relative safety of a Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) equipped with ACAS will require several extensions to the methods developed in previous ACAS studies. This paper outlines several of these redesign issues. First, it may be necessary to compute the probability that an RPV will experience a critical encounter relative to that for a conventional aircraft. Performing a safety study on only the incremental impact of equipping an RPV with ACAS would circumvent this need. Additionally, methods are proposed to adapt existing encounter models to better represent the likely characteristics of encounters with RPVs. Finally, modifications to the level of detail included in dynamic simulations and fault trees are discussed. It is proposed to shift all dynamic elements out of the fault tree and into a new more complex Monte Carlo simulation.
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Summary

Estimating the relative safety of a Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) equipped with ACAS will require several extensions to the methods developed in previous ACAS studies. This paper outlines several of these redesign issues. First, it may be necessary to compute the probability that an RPV will experience a critical encounter...

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