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Towards Autonomy and Safety for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  • Christoph TorensEmail author
  • Johann C. Dauer
  • Florian Adolf
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter describes unmanned aircraft with respect to autonomy and safety aspects of aerospace. The focus will be on unmanned aircraft systems, however most of the principles regarding safety and automation are valid for both, manned and unmanned aviation. As a means to assure safety for aircraft, safety assessments, development processes, and software standards have been established for manned aviation. In this context, design-time assurance of software will be discussed. Another key component of the safety concept for manned aviation is the onboard pilot. The pilot supervises and validates the system behavior and develops a gut feeling if the system is okay, due to his onboard presence. This is not possible for an unmanned aircraft. Human supervision will be remotely located. Therefore, an extensive discussion on runtime assurance and automated supervision will be a part of this work. Furthermore, with the growing degrees of automation and upcoming autonomy of the aircraft, one pilot might have to supervise more than one aircraft at the same time. Unmanned aircraft are expected to be integrated into civil airspace in the near future, possibly in very large quantities. The autonomy of these unmanned aircraft and the absence of a pilot onboard the aircraft is a source of concern. However, the automation and autonomy can also support safety. The interdependence between safety and autonomy will be discussed in this chapter. The challenge regarding unmanned aircraft is that the same level of safety can be maintained. In this context, this chapter will discuss the impact of new and upcoming regulations and standards for unmanned aircraft regarding a holistic approach to the assessment of risk and their impact on autonomy and safety.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Torens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johann C. Dauer
    • 1
  • Florian Adolf
    • 1
  1. 1.German Aerospace Center (DLR)BraunschweigGermany

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