PhD. Thesis Defense: Joel Dunham

Wed Apr 18 2018 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Weber 200
“Onboard Real-time Risk Analysis for UAS”

Ph.D. Thesis Proposal by

Joel Dunham

(Advisors: Prof. Eric Johnson & Prof. Eric Feron)

“Onboard Real-time Risk Analysis for UAS”

Wednesday, April 18 @ 12 noon
Montgomery-Knight – Room 200

Risk-assessment-based approval frameworks for operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) have been proposed to govern integration of UAS into the National Air Space (NAS).  Still in its infancy, one of these, Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA), provides a defined pathway through specific operations to build up use cases to general operations.  Other frameworks enable the same type of risk assessment, but do not have the specific risk analysis and process yet detailed.  Real-time risk analysis provides many opportunities to improve the safety and performance of UAS within these risk assessment frameworks.  While real-time risk assessment systems have been developed and tested, limitations are inherent in those systems.  This research seeks to address those limitations through development of a real-time onboard risk-assessment system applying Dempster-Shafer theory to this problem, enabling pre-positioning of UAS to accommodate contingencies while balancing mission goals.  Tests will be done through simulation and flight testing to determine whether this approach provides improvements for test cases with known safety issues.

Committee Members:

  • Dr. Eric Johnson
  • Dr. Eric Feron
  • Dr. John-Paul Clarke
  • Dr. Amy Pritchett
  • Dr. Maxime Gariel


Weber 200