MEMS Seminar: Toward Safe and Autonomous Manned and Unmanned Flight in Off-Nominal Conditions

Sep 7

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Professor Ella Atkins, Aerospace Engineering

Aircraft are now able to autonomously optimize and follow flight or mission plans from takeoff through landing. Automation has, however, struggled to effectively manage off-nominal situations, necessitating continued autonomy improvements, better information for operators, or both when such events bring risk of harm to people or property. This presentation will describe long-term research in improving safety and robustness through autonomous contingency management with application to manned and unmanned aircraft. Recent research in a flight safety assessment and management system with authority to override crew inputs to preserve safety will be presented. Dr. Atkins will also summarize research the use of nontraditional databases and real-time data to reduce risk to people and property. This work has led to research in electronic geofencing that extends beyond existing reflex "return to waypoint" systems. Future research and policy needs will be summarized. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am