Collaborative UAS Control to Increase Deconfliction Ability in the NAS
Type of Degreethesis
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The progression of aviation has led to the strong desire to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UASs) into the national airspace system (NAS). In order for UASs to occupy the NAS concurrently with other aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations require that UASs "see and avoid" (SAA) other air traffic to the same extent as a human pilot. The focus of this research is to explore the use of two collaborating unmanned aircraft working together to ensure separation from other air traffic using measurement data obtained from optical sensors. The system is designed for use with small, light-weight aircraft that are operated below 10,000 feet mean sea level. Computer simulation was used to explore the implementation of a control strategy for positioning the collaborating aircraft to maximize the accuracy of their estimates of interfering traffic locations and minimize the potential for conflicts while flying to a specified location. The performance of the range estimation algorithm was explored while subject to multiple interfering aircraft and operational constraints such as ownship maneuverability. A comparison with two other possible formations was conducted to determine how the proposed method performed in both range estimate and miss distance of conflicting air traffic. The system reliability was also examined when faced with multiple types of target scenarios.