Autonomous Flight

author: Mykel J. Kochenderfer, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University
published: Aug. 23, 2017,   recorded: February 2016,   views: 746

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Increasingly autonomous manned and unmanned aircraft are becoming safer and more capable. The commercial transport aircraft can fly itself from origin to destination but requires a crew to handle off-nominal situations and interface with air traffic control. Commercially available small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) can autonomously execute a waypoint mission but have little resilience to system failures and environmental hazards. This panel will discuss key autonomy technologies and research needs that will support safer, more efficient flight. Autonomous systems must be validated and verified to meet certification requirements and also must be accepted and trusted by the flying public and communities over which SUAS will operate at low altitudes. Panelists will discuss critical autonomy applications including emergency flight management, detect-and-avoid, geofencing for airspace segregation, cooperative planning and control, and challenges in operator situational awareness and training.

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