October 15, 2015

About the Presentation

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is the term used to collectively describe aircraft that fly without a human operator on board and the associated infrastructure required to operate them. There are many possible applications for small UAS (weighing less than 55 pounds) for transportation and infrastructure surveillance. However, there are numerous regulatory and technical challenges that must be solved before UAS are commonly used.

The first part of this presentation discussed some of the key regulatory issues that must be dealt with when using UAS for transportation and infrastructure surveillance. This included a discussion of the current rules for operating small UAS and the new proposed FAA regulations aimed at streamlining and simplifying operations starting in 2016.

Then, the presentation highlighted a subset of the technical challenges that must be addressed. These issues include the reliability of the flight control systems and their immunity to GPS/GNSS-denied operations. Finally, infrastructure developed by the University of Minnesota UAV Laboratories to explore solutions to these challenges and some ongoing research projects was described.

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About the Speaker

Demoz Gebre-Egziabher

Demoz Gebre-Egziabher is an associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on the navigation, guidance, and control of aerospace vehicles. Applications of his work have included the development of attitude determination systems for satellites, high-accuracy navigation of aircraft, and evaluations of the operations of small autonomous aerial vehicle operations in the national airspace system.