Validation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems' Integration into the Airspace (VUSIL I and II) 2011-01-2687
The VUSIL program has developed a concept for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into non-segregated airspace, which is also used by manned civil aviation. For the integration of UAS it is necessary for the Unmanned Aircraft (UA) pilot to be aware of the surrounding traffic in order to recognise and resolve possible conflicts. Therefore the surrounding traffic was displayed in the pilot ground control station (GCS) based on Radar data provided by DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS). The pilot was supported in detecting potential conflicts by means of a “Sense and Avoid” tool provided by ESG GmbH. This tool shows conflicts and possible avoidance manoeuvres on a separate display. To validate the concept, two flight campaigns with two different UAS (LUNA by EMT GmbH and NEO by Swiss UAV) and several intruders were conducted. In the first flight campaign, the intruders for the real flying UAS were simulated. In the second flight campaign the intruder was a manned helicopter supplied and flown by the German Federal Police. The proof of concept has been validated by the results of both flight campaigns.
Additionally, a safety analysis was conducted, aiming at demonstration of safe integration of UAS. Especially the equivalent level of safety (ELOS) of “See and Avoid” in manned aviation and “Sense and Avoid” as developed in the VUSIL program was addressed. Based on the results of the flight trials, workshops with aviation experts and relevant literature, under some conditions and assumptions, ELOS of VUSIL's integration concept has been shown.
Collecting the ability requirements of unmanned aircraft pilots was also part of the program. To this end, the UA pilots filled in a job analysis questionnaire to gather first information about the required abilities. The results were compared with the results from air traffic controllers and pilots.