Building the safety case for UAS operations in support of natural disaster response

Williams, Brendan P., Clothier, Reece, Fulton, Neale, Lin, Xunguo, Johnson, Sandra, & Cox, Kelly (2014) Building the safety case for UAS operations in support of natural disaster response. In Proceedings of the 14th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference (AIAA Aviation 2014), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, The United States of America, pp. 1-14.

View at publisher


A framework supporting the systematic development of safety cases for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in a broad range of civil and commercial applications is presented. The case study application is the use of UAS for disaster response. In those States where regulations do not preclude UAS operations altogether, approvals for UAS operations can be granted on a case-by-case basis contingent on the provision of a safety case acceptable to the relevant National Airworthiness Authority (NAA). A safety case for UAS operations must show how the risks associated with the hazards have been managed to an acceptable level. The foundational components necessary for structuring and assessing these safety cases have not yet been proposed. Barrier-bow-tie models are used in this paper to structure the safety case for the two primary hazards of 1) a ground impact, and 2) a Mid-Air Collision (MAC). The models establish the set of Risk Control Variables (RCVs) available to reduce the risk. For the ground-impact risk model, seven RCVs are identified which in combination govern the probability of an accident. Similarly, ten RCVs are identified within the MAC model. The effectiveness of the RCVs and how they can implemented in terms of processes, policies, devices, practices, or other actions for each of the case-study applications are discussed. The framework presented can provide for the more systematic and consistent regulation of UAS through a "safety target" approach.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 78648
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Aircraft accidents, Aviation, Disasters, Emergency services, Hazards, Risk assessment, Commercial applications, Disaster response, Ground impact, Mid-air collisions, Natural disasters, Risk controls, Safety case, Unmanned aircraft systems, CEDM
DOI: 10.2514/6.2014-2286
ISBN: 9781624102820
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2014 22:48
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 07:02

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page