SAE International Journal of Aerospace

Special Issue on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Autonomy

The SAE International Journal of Aerospace is soliciting papers for a special issue on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Autonomy, which represents one of the most exciting areas in aerospace today. Technology in this field is advancing at an enormous rate. The question is, how can we take advantage of the technological benefits whilst maintaining a safe air space?

The scope of UAS and Autonomy is enormous, encompassing small drones, large UAVs, fixed-wing, traditional rotorcraft, eVTOL aircraft, conventional powerplant configuration, and Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP).

UAS certification presents a large challenge for authorities, and there are many initiatives to define the basis for UAS certification. Other questions that must be answered are: How does artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) impact traditional compliance methods? What are operational and maintenance considerations? What are the additional human factors concerns? How are air and ground sectors integrated in the context of UAS?

Currently, there is considerable research and development ongoing at a number of academic institutions and in the industry. Also, there are a plethora of committees working on standards to support regulatory authorities and industry.

In this special issue we are soliciting papers, based on the current state of the art, including technology readiness level assessment, in the area of UAS and increasing Autonomy, including:

  • Validation and verification of unmanned systems
  • AI and ML applied to UAS and autonomous systems
    • Data Acquisition and curation in support of ML and AI development
    • Simulation and modelling in support of ML and AI development
    • Methods for detecting and correcting algorithmic error
  • Counter UAS
    • Identification methodologies
    • Assurance of detection
    • Threat mitigation
  • Certification considerations
    • Standards evolution in new and existing standards gaps
  • Integration with the National Airspace System
    • Airspace segregation
    • Sense and Avoid needs
    • Accommodating autonomous and mixed operations
    • Autonomous management of contingency, off nominal, non-normal
  • Risk Classification
  • Different approaches for autonomy
    • Concept of operations modulation of rigor
  • Approaches to manage many vehicles by one, or some, operator(s)
  • Functional allocation of UAS among air, ground, and cloud segments

After the guest editors have completed their review of submitted abstracts, authors will be notified as to whether they have been selected to submit a full, review-ready manuscript for journal consideration. Selected authors will be directed to submit their full manuscripts to the Editorial Manager submission portal for the SAE International Journal of Aerospace.   

For more information, please contact the Guest Editors:

Andy Wallington
ACE Aerospace Certification LLC

Chris Johnson
University of Wisconsin–Madison

George Romanski
Federal Aviation Administration

Parimal (PK) Kopardekar

Deadline for (invited) review-ready manuscripts: November 30, 2021