Date of Award

12-2008

Document Type

Thesis - ERAU Login Required

Degree Name

Master of Science in Safety Science

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Brian Peacock, Ph. D.

First Committee Member

Gary Northam, Ph. D.

Second Committee Member

Nancy Lawrence, Ph. D.

Third Committee Member

Raynald Bedard

Abstract

This research seeks to propose operational and regulatory criteria for commercial unmanned aircraft systems in congested airspace sectors through analysis of several routing options utilizing flight simulation technology and logical analysis. Commercial unmanned aircraft systems will require a discrete set of operating rules and will need a substantial sector of the national airspace in which to operate. UAS operations that include transitions through congested airspace sectors and specifically the airspace near and surrounding major airports in the U.S., pose the greatest safety concern.

Flight simulation software products are used to simulate UAV operations within Phoenix Class B airspace and to analyze specific routing options. The research uncovers a programming omission in the main simulation software rendering experimental data invalid. Logical analysis of routing options results in the recommendation to create discrete UAS operational corridors and various UAS operational regulations. Additionally, recommendations for airspace analysis software products and flight simulation software products capable of more closely reproducing the Class B operational environment are proposed.

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