Safety Airway for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using a Gas Particles Behavior Analogy

Pablo Rangel, University of Texas at El Paso


The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented the Part 107 legislation to allow the flight of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for commercial use (i.e. package deliveries, power transmission line inspections, etc.) in the National Airspace System (NAS). As a consequence of the newly introduced rules, there is an increased risk for accidents involving injured bystanders or damaged to property. The work within this document defines a UAV to UAV safety distance model that acts as a range sensor enabled “elastic bubble”. The length of the UAV safety bubble contracts and expands upon changing airway wind speed conditions. It also adds manufacturer safety distance recommendations as an extra layer of security. The error safety distance equation is expected to mitigate critical UAV operation errors into collision. That model is also a building block for a UAV risk mitigation equation obtained by using the mechanical behavior of gas particles as an analogy. That equation identifies degrees of risk within different airway volume configurations. The weighted risk parameters that drive the risk mitigation equation are: 1)UAV safety distance error due to wind conditions, 2)impact of increase number of contained UAVs, and 3) maximum system failure rates per flight hour to meet ground Target Level of Safety (third party casualty risk). The proposed work seeks to support the implementation of a safe Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) coordinated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) airway among other applications

Subject Area

Computer Engineering|Electrical engineering|Robotics

Recommended Citation

Rangel, Pablo, "Safety Airway for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Using a Gas Particles Behavior Analogy" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10284117.