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Graduate Student Works

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Dr. Robert Joslin


The Urban Air Mobility campaign has set a goal to efficiently transport passengers and cargo in urban areas of operation with autonomous aircraft. This concept of operations will require aircraft to utilize technology that currently does not have clear regulatory requirements. This report contains a comprehensive analysis and creation of a certification basis for a fully autonomous uncrewed passenger carrying rotorcraft for use in Urban Air Mobility certified under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 27. Part 27 was first analyzed to determine the applicability of current regulations. The fully electric propulsion system and fully autonomous flight control system pose the largest gaps in current airworthiness standards. Part 27 regulations contained 241 directly applicable regulations, 47 regulations were not applicable, primarily due to being “human-centric”, and 34 regulations requiring special conditions. Once these gaps were identified, the extant literature related to autonomous and electric propulsion systems were utilized to propose special conditions and amendments to complete a certification basis for the notional rotorcraft. Amendments were also created to provide suggested regulatory changes to enhance applicability for future autonomous and electric rotorcraft seeking certification under 14 CFR Part 27. The proposed special conditions and amendments aid in the certification, safety, and proliferation of a fully autonomous and electric future.

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Daytona Beach, FL USA