The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) usually navigate through the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) associated with an Inertial Navigation System (INS). However, GNSS can have its accuracy degraded at any time or even turn off the signal of GNSS. In addition, there is the possibility of malicious interferences, known as jamming. Therefore, the image navigation system can solve the autonomy problem, because if the GNSS is disabled or degraded, the image navigation system would continue to provide coordinate information for the INS, allowing the autonomy of the system. This work aims to evaluate the accuracy of the positioning though photogrammetry concepts. The methodology uses orthophotos and Digital Surface Models (DSM) as a reference to represent the object space and photograph obtained during the flight to represent the image space. For the calculation of the coordinates of the perspective center and camera attitudes, it is necessary to know the coordinates of homologous points in the object space (orthophoto coordinates and DSM altitude) and image space (column and line of the photograph). So if it is possible to automatically identify in real time the homologous points the coordinates and attitudes can be calculated whit their respective accuracies. With the methodology applied in this work, it is possible to verify maximum errors in the order of 0.5 m in the positioning and 0.6º in the attitude of the camera, so the navigation through the image can reach values equal to or higher than the GNSS receivers without differential correction. Therefore, navigating through the image is a good alternative to enable autonomous navigation.
System Safety Regulations (SSR) are a central component to the airworthiness certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). There is significant debate on the setting of appropriate SSR for UAS. Putting this debate aside, the challenge lies in how to apply the system safety process to UAS, which lacks the data and operational heritage of conventionally piloted aircraft. The limited knowledge and lack of operational data result in uncertainty in the system safety assessment of UAS. This uncertainty can lead to incorrect compliance findings and the potential certification and operation of UAS that do not meet minimum safety performance requirements. The existing system safety assessment and compliance processes, as used for conventional piloted aviation, do not adequately account for the uncertainty, limiting the suitability of its application to UAS. This paper discusses the challenges of undertaking system safety assessments for UAS and presents current and envisaged research towards addressing these challenges. It aims to highlight the main advantages associated with adopting a risk based framework to the System Safety Performance Requirement (SSPR) compliance process that is capable of taking the uncertainty associated with each of the outputs of the system safety assessment process into consideration. Based on this study, it is made clear that developing a framework tailored to UAS, would allow for a more rational, transparent and systematic approach to decision making. This would reduce the need for conservative assumptions and take the risk posed by each UAS into consideration while determining its state of compliance to the SSR.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) become indispensable parts of modern airpower as force multiplier. One of the main advantages of UAS is long endurance. UAS have to take extra payloads to accomplish different missions but these payloads decrease endurance of aircraft because of increasing drag. There are continuing researches to increase the capability of UAS. There are some vertical thermal air currents, which can cause climb and increase endurance, in nature. Birds and gliders use thermals to gain altitude with no effort. UAS have wide wings which can use thermals like birds and gliders. Thermal regions, which is area of 2000-3000 meter (1 NM), exist all around the world. It is natural and infinite source. This study analyses if thermal regions can be adopted and implemented as an assistant tool for UAS route planning. First and second part of study will contain information about the thermal regions and current applications about UAS in aviation and climbing performance with a real example. Continuing parts will analyze the contribution of thermal regions to UAS endurance. Contribution is important because planning declaration of UAS navigation rules will be in 2015.