Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Quantitatively Derived NMAC Analog for Smaller Unmanned Aircraft Systems Based on Unmitigated Collision Risk

Version 1 : Received: 18 November 2020 / Approved: 19 November 2020 / Online: 19 November 2020 (10:49:14 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Weinert, A.; Alvarez, L.; Owen, M. and Zintak, B. Near Midair Collision Analog for Drones Based on Unmitigated Collision Risk. Journal of Air Transportation, 2022, pp.1-12. Weinert, A.; Alvarez, L.; Owen, M. and Zintak, B. Near Midair Collision Analog for Drones Based on Unmitigated Collision Risk. Journal of Air Transportation, 2022, pp.1-12.

Journal reference: Journal of Air Transportation 2022
DOI: 10.2514/1.D0260

Abstract

The capability to avoid other air traffic is a fundamental component of the layered conflict management system to ensure safe and efficient operations in the National Airspace System. The evaluation of systems designed to mitigate the risk of midair collisions of manned aircraft are based on large-scale modeling and simulation efforts and a quantitative volume defined as a near midair collision (NMAC). Since midair collisions are difficult to observe in simulation and are inherently rare events, basing evaluations on NMAC enables a more robust statistical analysis. However, an NMAC and its underlying assumptions for assessing close encounters with manned aircraft do not adequately consider the different characteristics of smaller UAS-only encounters. The primary contribution of this paper is to explore quantitative criteria to use when simulating two or more smaller UASs in sufficiently close proximity that a midair collision might reasonably occur and without any mitigations to reduce the likelihood of a midair collision. The criteria assumes a historically motivated upper bound for the collision likelihood and subsequently identify the smallest possible NMAC analogs. We also demonstrate the NMAC analogs can be used to support modeling and simulation activities.

Supplementary and Associated Material

Keywords

aviation, modeling, safety, uas

Subject

MATHEMATICS & COMPUTER SCIENCE, Other

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