Toward the development of a low-altitude air traffic control paradigm for networks of small, Autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles


Conference Paper

© 2015, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. All rights received. To enable safe and efficient operation of a large number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as envisioned in future commercial operations, a novel networked-based air traffic control paradigm is needed to provide for autonomous route optimization and cooperation to enable deconfliction. This system would need to ensure deconfliction from nearby manned and unmanned operations and would need the capability to respond to unexpected close-proximity aircraft, known as interlopers. This network-based control paradigm will require that operators be able to oversee a network of cooperative and autonomous UAVs capable of maneuvering at low altitudes. Such a network would need new algorithms and increased autonomy to best support cooperative deconfliction and high level supervisory control, and one that also allows operators the ability to both understand local and global behavior of a network of UAVs. To this end, we propose a paradigm-shifting multi-layer distributed air traffic control concept focused on low altitude, high density UAV operations. This new architecture would include a group of analysts that perform a global analysis of the UAV network at a strategic level and more tactical, local controllers manipulating the UAV network, who are advised by the analysts. The proposed operational support system would include methods for the automatic identification of issues within the network, as well as a method for the automatic distribution of effective tasks to the most suitable personnel. This architecture would be a combination of current air traffic control techniques as well as those troubleshooting techniques found in other domains like network and cloud computing management.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Aubert, MC; Üzümcü, S; Hutchins, AR; Cummings, ML

Published Date

  • January 1, 2015

Published In

  • Aiaa Infotech at Aerospace

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781624103384

Citation Source

  • Scopus