Enabling autonomous flight capabilities onboard commercial aircraft to assist in improving safety in the event of emergencies

Research focuses on the development and implementation of a novel Intelligent Autonomous Flight Management System (IAFMS) to ensure onboard passenger safety of commercial aircraft in the event of an emergency scenario where the pilot must relinquish control of the aircraft (for example, hijacking, loss of cabin pressure).

In these situations, the flight management system autonomously pilot the aircraft to a predefined destination whilst taking into account potential hazards such as terrain (low altitude scenario), aircraft dynamic constraints, and multiple mission objectives. This research will be implemented using UWE Bristol's MERLIN flight simulator.

The underlying trajectory generation strategy involves the application of Manoeuvre Automaton (MA) theory to create sets of candidate flight manoeuvres, which implicitly incorporate platform dynamic constraints to form feasible trajectories. Additionally, expert decision data captured is converted into value functions and corresponding criteria weightings using UTilité Additive (UTA) theory to generate trajectories, which more closely represent the candidate, HDM's decision strategies.

Duration: 2012-2013. SPUR4 research grant by UWE Bristol, total funding £15,000.

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