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Determination and Evaluation of UAV Safety Objectives

Clothier, Reece A. & Walker, Rodney A. (2006) Determination and Evaluation of UAV Safety Objectives. In 21st International Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems Conference, 3rd April - 5th April 2006, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The integration and acceptance of routine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations within the civilian airspace system hinges on the ability of UAV developers, operators and regulators to prove that UAVs, at minimum, have an equivalent level of safety to that of human-piloted aircraft. Regulations, which govern the safe design, manufacture, maintenance and operation of UAV systems, are to be defined so as to ensure this safety objective is met. Therefore, it is important to provide discussion on the definition and application of such safety objectives to ensure appropriate requirements are defined.

Safety objectives are defined using a historical analysis of human-piloted aviation accidents. The results of this empirical analysis are then compared against those proposed in draft regulations and in similar studies. The limitations to the approach and the metrics used are also discussed.

A simple ground fatality expectation model is used to illustrate the impact that varying safety objectives have on the design and operation of UAVs. Specific applications of border security, operations over urban environments and precision farming in the sugarcane industry are investigated.

The final section of this paper provides discussion on the public acceptance of risk. The paper highlights a number of key factors which influence the acceptance of risk and the impact these factors have on the definition of safety objectives.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 4183
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: UAV, Risk Management, Safety Objectives, ELOS, HALE UAV, Civilian Operations, Public Perception
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Defence Studies (160604)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > AEROSPACE ENGINEERING (090100) > Aerospace Engineering not elsewhere classified (090199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 12 May 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:17

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