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Unmanned Systems (UxS) Control Segment (UCS) Architecture: Architecture Description

This document is the Architecture Description (AD) for the SAE Unmanned Systems (UxS) Control Segment (UCS) Architecture Library Revision A or, simply, the UCS Architecture. The architecture is expressed by a library of SAE publications as referenced herein. The other publications in the UCS Architecture Library Revision A are: AS6513A, AS6518A, AS6522A, and AS6969A.
Technical Paper

UAS Behaviour and Consistency Monitoring System for Countering Cyber Security Threats

Upon their arrival, Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) brought with them many benefits for those involved in a military campaign. They can use such systems to reconnoiter dangerous areas, provide 24-hr aerial security surveillance for force protection purposes or even attack enemy targets all the while avoiding friendly human losses in the process. Unfortunately, these platforms also carry the inherent risk of being built on innately vulnerable cybernetic systems. From software which can be tampered with to either steal data, damage or even outright steal the aircraft, to the data networks used for communications which can be jammed or even eavesdropped on to gain access to sensible information. All this has the potential to turn the benefits of UAS into liabilities and although the last decade has seen great advances in the development of protection and countermeasures against the described threats and beyond the risk still endures.
Journal Article

Design Approach for Secure Networks to Introduce Data Analytics within the Aircraft Cabin

In the past, aircraft network design did not demand for information security considerations. The aircraft systems were simple, obscure, proprietary and, most importantly for security, the systems have been either physically isolated or they have been connected by directed communication links. The union of the aircraft systems thus formed a federated network. These properties are in sharp contrast with today’s system designs, which rest upon platform-based solutions with shared resources being interconnected by a massively meshed and shared communication network. The resulting connectivity and the high number of interfaces require an in-depth security analysis as the systems also provide functions that are required for the safe operation of the aircraft. This network design evolution, however, resulted in an iterative and continuous adaption of existing network solutions as these have not been developed from scratch.
Research Report

Unsettled Technology Opportunities for Vehicle Health Management and the Role for Health-Ready Components

Game-changing opportunities abound for the application of vehicle health management (VHM) across multiple transportation-related sectors, but key unresolved issues continue to impede progress. VHM technology is based upon the broader field of advanced analytics. Much of traditional analytics efforts to date have been largely descriptive in nature and offer somewhat limited value for large-scale enterprises. Analytics technology becomes increasingly valuable when it offers predictive results or, even better, prescriptive results, which can be used to identify specific courses of action. It is this focus on action which takes analytics to a higher level of impact, and which imbues it with the potential to materially impact the success of the enterprise. Artificial intelligence (AI), specifically machine learning technology, shows future promise in the VHM space, but it is not currently adequate by itself for high-accuracy analytics.
Research Report

Unsettled Topics in the Application of Satellite Navigation to Air Traffic Management

Contemporary air traffic management (ATM) challenges are both (1) acute and (2) growing at rates far outpacing established ways for absorbing technological innovation. Lack of timely response will guarantee failure to meet demands. Immediately that creates a necessity to identify means of coping and judging new technologies based on possible speed of adoption. Paralleling the challenges are developments in capability, both recent and decades old. Some steps (e.g., Global Positioning System (GPS) backup) are well known and, in fact, should have progressed further long ago. Others (e.g., sharing raw measurements instead of position fixes) are equally well known and, if followed by further flight tests initiated (and successful) years ago, would have produced a wealth of in-flight experience by now if development had continued. Other possibilities (e.g., automated pilot override) are much less common and are considered largely experimental.

New university-led Air Force Center of Excellence focuses on securing autonomous systems operating in contested environments

The researchers at the COE for Assured Autonomy in Contested Environments – all of which histories of innovation for Department of Defense problems of interest – will focus on the availability, integrity, and effective use of information by leveraging its diverse expertise in dynamics, mathematics, control theory, information theory, communications, and computer science.

Software needs security, and security needs software: a scientific overview

Software needs security. That's a consequence of using software to control critical systems. It's difficult because software is inherently a complex artifact, even when the code just consists of a single sequential program in a single programming language, with well-defined inputs and outputs. Of course, actual software rarely if ever has such a simple structure. Security needs software. That's a consequence of the complexity just mentioned. No process can ensure security at scale unless it is automated by using software itself: programming languages, verification tools, software platforms.

Autonomous Technologies: Applications That Matter

Over the years, the DARPA Challenges in the United States have galvanized interest in autonomous cars, making them a real possibility in the mind of the public, but autonomous and unmanned vehicles have been increasingly employed in many roles on land, in the water, and in the air. Military applications have received a great deal of attention, with weaponized unmanned aircraft (drones) being the most prominent. However, unmanned vehicles with varying degrees of autonomy already have many civilian applications. Some of these are quite familiar (such as the Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaner), while others remain largely out of the public eye (such as autonomous farm equipment). Additional applications and more capable vehicles are rapidly coming to the markets in the years ahead. This book examines a number of economically important areas in which unmanned and autonomous vehicles, also understood here as autonomous technologies, are already used or soon will be.

Nvidia partners with AdaCore to secure self-driving firmware

As mobility software becomes increasingly complex and connected, so does the risk of human error and system safety. To combat this, New York-based software company AdaCore will work with Nvidia Corporation of Santa Clara, California to apply open-source Ada and SPARK programming languages for select software security firmware elements in highly-complex, safety-critical systems like Nvidia’s DRIVE AGX automated and autonomous vehicle solutions.

Commercial Aviation Cyber Security: Current State and Essential Reading

In the next decade, commercial aviation will see Next Generation ATM (NextGEN), Single European Skies ATM Research (SESAR), and others utilizing Internet- based air-to-ground communication links for advanced “air traffic control” (ATC) communications. Commercial Aviation Cyber Security: Current State and Essential Reading highlights some of the major issues the industry must confront if the vision of a new, advanced air traffic management is to come to fruition. This will require standardization work to identify key components with built-in cyber security that will guide prototype testing, functionality, and prioritizing implementation efforts to solve the roadblocks to global interoperability. The ten technical papers selected for Commercial Aviation Cyber Security: Current State and Essential Reading span the last decade’s work in commercial aviation cyber security, and aircraft cyber technologies.

Air mobility innovations take center stage at Aerospace Systems and Technology Conference 2018

Hundreds of aerospace executives, engineers, scientists, and academics are gathering in London this week for Aerospace Systems and Technology Conference (ASTC) 2018 from SAE International in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. Discussions during the three-day industry event center on the theme of innovating air mobility. Aerospace thought leaders are at ASTC discussing current challenges, the latest enabling technologies, and future opportunities, including those related to urban air mobility (UAM) and supersonic aircraft.

Virtual factories accelerate collaboration, advance technologies

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), a non-profit consortium based in Prince George County, Virginia, uses a 3D visualization lab to expand beyond the walls of its 62,000-square-foot brick and mortar facility and deliver a collaborative development for researchers in industry, academia, and government.

AIA predicts flying air taxis, supersonic air travel, and space industry for 2050

In the “What’s Next for Aerospace and Defense: A Vision for 2050” study, AIA, New York City-based McKinsey & Company, and other industry partners reveal a comprehensive 30-year, Industry 4.0 forecast of air travel and spaceflight based on improvements in automation and digitization, next-generation materials, alternative energy sources and storage, and increased data throughput.

SAE International

Last month, AeroVironment, Inc. began accepting orders for their new Puma 3 UAS. As an “all environment” UAS, Pumas have operated effectively in some of the harshest climates on Earth.