UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM SENSE AND AVOID INTEGRITY AND CONTINUITY
JAMOOM, MICHAEL B.
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This thesis describes new methods to guarantee safety of sense and avoid (SAA) functions for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by evaluating integrity and continuity risks. Previous SAA e↵orts focused on relative safety metrics, such as risk ratios, comparing the risk of using an SAA system versus not using it. The methods in this thesis evaluate integrity and continuity risks as absolute measures of safety, as is the established practice in commercial aircraft terminal area navigation applications. The main contribution of this thesis is a derivation of a new method, based on a standard intruder relative constant velocity assumption, that uses hazard state estimates and estimate error covariances to establish (1) the integrity risk of the SAA system not detecting imminent loss of “well clear,” which is the time and distance required to maintain safe separation from intruder aircraft, and (2) the probability of false alert, the continuity risk. Another contribution is applying these integrity and continuity risk evaluation methods to set quantifiable and certifiable safety requirements on sensors. A sensitivity analysis uses this methodology to evaluate the impact of sensor errors on integrity and continuity risks. The penultimate contribution is an integrity and continuity risk evaluation where the estimation model is refined to address realistic intruder relative linear accelerations, which goes beyond the current constant velocity standard. The final contribution is an integrity and continuity risk evaluation addressing multiple intruders. This evaluation is a new innovation-based method to determine the risk of mis-associating intruder measurements. A mis-association occurs when the SAA system incorrectly associates a measurement to the wrong intruder, causing large errors in the estimated intruder trajectories. The new methods described in this thesis can help ensure safe encounters between aircraft and enable SAA sensor certification for UAS integration into the National Airspace System.