VDL 2024

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research and Innovation Challenges

2023 VDL Series

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This lecture provides a timely update on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research and innovation initiatives, with a focus on avionics and Air Traffic Management (ATM) evolutions. Fundamental topics covered encompass onboard Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS) systems, and their interactions within current and future ATM frameworks. The lecture also delves into the relevant cybersecurity principles within the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) domains, aiming to identify the possible threats and applicable mitigation strategies. Beginning with an introductory segment outlining the IEEE AESS Avionics Systems Panel (ASP) activities in this domain, the lecture provides a high-level classification of Cyber-Physical Aerospace Systems (CPAS) and discusses the UAS as a system-of-systems, with associated key definitions. Subsequent sections delve into ongoing research and innovation efforts, including: autonomous navigation and guidance, communication systems and networks, sense-and-avoid, AI integration in UAS avionics design, cybersecurity, and ongoing UTM/UAM airspace integration initiatives. The lecture concludes with an interactive Q&A and discussion session, fostering meaningful scholarly exchange. This lecture is intended for researchers, students, and professionals seeking to gain insights into the rapidly evolving domain of UAS and associated airspace integration efforts.

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